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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 26, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 43
Seattle prevails in sanctuary cities lawsuit, President Trump's executive order ruled unconstitutional
Section One
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Seattle prevails in sanctuary cities lawsuit, President Trump's executive order ruled unconstitutional

SEATTLE (October 25, 2018) - Following legal victories by welcoming cities around the country, the City of Seattle has prevailed in its lawsuit against the Trump administration [whose] Department of Justice tried to withhold 2017 federal funds from Seattle in retaliation for policies that support and welcome immigrant and refugee communities.

The US District Court has issued an order finding that the section of President Trump's executive order that directed the Department of Justice to withheld congressionally appropriated funds from Seattle is unconstitutional.

Following a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that found the executive order unconstitutional in a San Francisco case, Seattle joined with Portland to seek an order that would put an end to the ongoing lawsuit.

'Take a moment to celebrate a win against a president doing all he can to marginalize people and foster a climate of fear,' said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. 'The 'separation of powers' still exists in this country, and I'm thankful to our judiciary for recognizing that. With our public safety grant dollars now in hand, we can move forward in supporting our neighbors and furthering community safety in Seattle.'

'We have the law - and justice - on our side. This ruling is a victory for welcoming cities everywhere; it confirms that the administration's actions violate our Constitution,' said Mayor Jenny Durkan. 'If it wasn't clear already, this administration should know that Seattle won't [be] bullied. We will refuse to back down in the face of unjust attacks on our rights and the safety of our communities - and we will always stand up for our immigrant and refugee neighbors.'

'The City of Seattle saw the president's threats to withhold federal funding from Seattle for what they were: politically motivated bullying. Threatening to pull public safety funding to satisfy his anti-immigrant policies is not only wrong but illegal,' said Councilmember M. Lorena González. 'Our victory in this lawsuit affirms that Seattle is on the right side of history and the law. Seattle will always be a welcoming city to our undocumented immigrant and refugee neighbors, and standing with our undocumented community is imperative now more than ever. Cities must continue to use every tool at their disposal to meet the public safety needs of all our residents regardless of immigration status.'

The executive order directed the US Department of Justice to withhold grant money from cities that were not in compliance with 8 USC 1373 ('sanctuary jurisdictions'), but courts have consistently ruled that the executive branch did not have the authority to add new conditions to grants already appropriated by Congress. Seattle has held it is and has been in compliance with 8 USC 1373.

'My sincere thanks to Charles Rothfeld and Andrew Pincus from the Mayer Brown LLP law firm, who provided pro-bono legal counsel for the City in this case,' said Holmes.

As announced last week, Seattle received $252,157 in Byrne JAG Grant dollars, which will be used to fund three crime prevention coordinators in the Seattle Police Department.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has served the City of Seattle as its chief legal officer and prosecutor since 2010. Resources for crime victims, information on forthcoming trials, and recent City Attorney's Office news and reports can be found on the City Attorney's website. Follow the City Attorney on Twitter and on Facebook.

Courtesy of the City of Seattle

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Seattle prevails in sanctuary cities lawsuit, President Trump's executive order ruled unconstitutional
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