San Francisco Sues President Trump Over Sanctuary City Order

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump challenging the constitutionality of an executive order threatening sanctuary cities with enforcement actions and a loss of federal funding.

ALSO READ:
TRUMP TRAVEL BAN: Latest Stories
California May Expand Sanctuary City Policies Statewide
California Could Cut Off Feds In Response To Trump Threats
Sanctuary Cities Grapple With Trump’s Threat To Pull Federal Funding
Trump Moves To Build Border Wall, Block Sanctuary City Funding

“The president’s executive order is not only unconstitutional, it’s un-American,” Herrera said at a City Hall news conference with Mayor Ed Lee. “That’s why we must stand up and oppose it.”

The executive order, signed last Wednesday, directs federal agencies to cut off federal grant funds to cities such as San Francisco with sanctuary city policies that limit the cooperation of local law enforcement and government agencies with federal immigration authorities.

San Francisco receives around $1.2 billion in federal funds, about half of which is dispersed through the state and half directly from federal agencies. City officials say it remains unclear exactly what funds would be affected by the executive order, but the bulk of those funds go for programs such as health care, nutrition and housing.

Lee said Tuesday that San Francisco has been working to prepare for its legal defense ever since Trump’s election in November. The mayor has vowed to maintain the city’s sanctuary city policies, which are intended to increase public safety by encouraging immigrant communities to cooperate with law enforcement, seek health care and enroll their children in schools.

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

The city’s lawsuit asserts that the city is in compliance with federal laws regarding the sharing of information on immigration status, but also challenges the constitutionality of those laws, which underlie the executive order, Herrera said.

The order also directly violates constitutional protections on San Francisco’s autonomy and sovereign powers as a local government, according to the lawsuit.

Herrera said courts have repeatedly upheld the finding that the federal government cannot force local governments to act as agents of federal policy, most recently in a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found states could not be forced to comply with elements of the Affordable Care Act.

“The federal government can’t hold a gun to the head of state and local governments,” Herrera said. “That remains true no matter who is making the order.”

San Francisco adopted a sanctuary city policy 28 years ago after local officials recognized that domestic violence victims were unwilling to report their attackers to police because they feared deportation. More than 400 cities and counties across the country have similar policies on the books, including New York and Los Angeles.

While opponents of sanctuary city policies have argued the policies threaten public safety, Herrera cited a University of San Diego study that found sanctuary jurisdictions tend to have, on average, 35.5 fewer crimes committed per 10,000 people compared to non-sanctuary jurisdictions.

In San Francisco, the policy drew national notoriety after the July 1, 2015, fatal shooting of Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old Pleasanton native, by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican citizen with a history of drug convictions and deportations.
Lopez-Sanchez had been released from San Francisco’s jails a few days before the shooting.

Steinle’s family sued the city because the sheriff’s department had released Lopez-Sanchez without notifying immigration authorities.

However, a federal judge threw out the family’s case against the city earlier this month, saying there was no law requiring the city to disclose his release date.

The Board of Supervisors voted in May to uphold and revise the city’s policies to clarify that law enforcement would only notify immigration authorities of an inmate’s release in limited circumstances involving serious
felonies.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments

One Comment

  1. They are protecting their true voters – illegal immigrants.

  2. Instead of being allowed to foist the costs of their politically correct posturing litigation onto the already overburdened taxpayers, the members of the Board of Supervisors should be required to bear those costs personally.

  3. Sam Starfas says:

    I tried to post a comment in support of Trump, but KPIX denied it. Wow, so much for free speech!

  4. Sam Starfas says:

    The supporters of these illegal immigrants should be responsible for them. If they steal, murder, need medical attention, then someone is responsible. Not all the tax payers.

    I guess SF has forgotten that an illegal alien killed a young woman who would have contributed to society. KILLED HER! KILLED HER!

    Stupid SF people, remember, you will get what you wish for!!!

  5. How many illegal aliens will each of these “protesters” host in their own home?

    Come on, don’t be all talk. Do what you preach. If you love criminal aliens and terrorists, host them in your own homes and see how you like it.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS San Francisco

Get The New CBS SF Bay Area Local App
Got Our Weather App?
Listen to Radio.com Anywhere, Anytime!

Watch & Listen LIVE