The mayor of Seattle says that President Donald Trump's order against sanctuary cities is unconstitutional, and he's suing over the city's right to disobey federal immigration authorities.
Mayor Ed Murray announced the federal lawsuit Wednesday, saying that Trump's executive order about defunding cities who maintain "sanctuary city" policies is unlawful.
Murray said that undoing the policies would put more people at risk since illegal immigrants would stop calling the police to report crimes over fear they might be deported.
"The time to act is now," Murray said. "Inconsistent and incorrect statements from the Trump Administration have created too much fear and uncertainty. Communities become less safe every day under Trump's orders as residents become more afraid to report crimes."
An estimate by the Pew Research Center puts the population of illegal immigrants at about 150,000 in Seattle and the surrounding area.
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole spoke similarly in January about local law enforcement needing to cooperate with the peaceful illegal immigrants in the community.
“Of course, we are concerned about people who carry guns," she said, "who are involved in drugs, who are involved in gangs, who are involved in trafficking. And if they’re undocumented, we’re going to enforce the law against them as we would anybody else. But the vast majority of undocumented people in our community are law-abiding people, and we need to work with them as a police service,”
The mayor also said they stand to lose $85 million of their $5 billion budget if Trump's proposal is implemented and they hold on to their sanctuary city policies.
Los Angeles is another "sanctuary city" that is pushing back hard against the Trump administration's threats. L.A. Mayor Gil Garcetti recently signed his own executive order forbidding all city employees from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. Some faith leaders are organizing "underground railroad" safe houses for illegal immigrants to escape deportation.