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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 31, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 13
Immigration lawsuit:

Local Congress members side with Seattle
Section One
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Immigration lawsuit:

Local Congress members side with Seattle

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Both Seattle-area members of Congress announced their support for the City of Seattle in its dispute with the Trump administration over immigration policies.

Trump's Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, threatened to cut off federal funds to cities like Seattle that refuse to play ball with ICE agents seeking to arrest and deport undocumented residents. In response, Seattle has filed suit against the administration.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement in response to Seattle's decision to file a lawsuit challenging provisions of President Trump's executive order targeting sanctuary cities:



'Seattle has been at the forefront of standing up for immigrants for decades. As one of the most welcoming cities in one of the most welcoming states in the country, we understand that our communities are stronger when our policies ensure the participation of everyone, regardless of immigration status. Since this administration took office, Seattle has also been at the leading edge of the many battles waged against the xenophobic attacks of this president, including his latest attack on sanctuary cities.

'The president and his administration are simply wrong. The anti-sanctuary provision of the executive order is based on a false premise that cities with welcoming policies are somehow violating the law and it attempts to punish them by threatening to withhold federal funding. It also completely ignores the fact that the primary role of local law enforcement must be to preserve public safety - and to do that, trust with community members is essential.

'I'm fully behind Seattle's decision to challenge the administration's executive order. The president has been on a losing streak in courtrooms across the country where his immigration orders have been challenged. I would not be surprised if he keeps on losing as long as he pursues hateful and poorly-designed policies.'



Congressman Adam Smith also issued a statement supporting Seattle:



'Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it clear that the Trump Administration does not respect local jurisdiction's understanding of how best to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of their residents. The Trump Administration has threatened to revoke or withhold critical public safety funds from communities in a clear act of misguided retribution.

'The grant funds Attorney General Sessions has threatened to 'claw back' from local jurisdictions support not only the ongoing efforts of agencies such as the Seattle Police Department to strengthen and diversity their ranks, but also the efforts of prosecutors to tackle horrific crimes such as labor and sex trafficking. Shutting the door on these initiatives simply because the Administration refuses to acknowledge established facts on immigration disrespects the men and women who work every day to keep us safe.

'Local leaders in the Puget Sound region understand that ensuring the safety of our communities and protecting the rights of recent immigrants are goals that flatly do not conflict. Washington state should stand by our values and fight to keep families together.'

Jayapal represents the Seventh Congressional District, which includes Seattle north of Madison Street and west of I-5, while Smith represents the rest of Seattle and points south.

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