San Francisco Sues President Trump Over Executive Order Targeting Sanctuary Cities

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, left, listens as City Attorney Dennis Herrera, right, answers questions about a lawsuit against President Donald Trump during a news conference at City Hall Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, left, listens as City Attorney Dennis Herrera, right, answers questions about a lawsuit against President Donald Trump during a news conference at City Hall Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a federal lawsuit against President Trump on Tuesday, calling his executive order that seeks to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities unconstitutional.

The legal action is the first lawsuit from a major sanctuary city under threat from Trump’s executive order that aims to supersede local immigration policy while ratcheting up enforcement.

“Not only is it unconstitutional, it’s un-American,” Herrera said at a City Hall news conference. “It is necessary to defend the people of this city, this state and this country from the wild overreach of a president whose words and actions have thus far shown little respect for our Constitution or the rule of law.”

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, cites the 10th Amendment of the Constitution that limits the federal government from interfering in powers reserved to states.

“The fabric of our communities and billions of dollars are at stake,” said Herrera, who was joined by Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen and several deputy city attorneys. “President Trump does not appear to understand the Constitution and the limits it imposes on executive power.”

The executive order, which includes pledging to build a wall along the Mexican border, aims to block federal grants to sanctuary cities while reviving the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s controversial Secure Communities program phased out under President Barack Obama.

The program relied on local law enforcement agencies to detain immigrants in the country without documentation for federal agents to pick up for deportation.

San Francisco established its sanctuary-city policy in 1989 to protect victims of domestic abuse, families and other citizens, who feared deportation if they cooperated with law enforcement.

Lee on Tuesday restated his commitment to defy Trump’s executive order.

“We are ready to fight to keep our city safe, and today is a prime example,” he said. “The president’s misguided executive order makes our residents less safe, and as a city we will fight back — and today we fight back.”

The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming the city’s opposition to Trump’s immigration policies after Herrera’s announcement Tuesday.

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SOURCE: Evan Sernoffsky
San Francisco Chronicle

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