The city of Seattle filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Wednesday against President Donald Trump’s administration, arguing that their designation as a “sanctuary city” should not prevent them from receiving federal funds, as required by Executive Order 13768 [text]. Seattle asked the US District Court for the Western District of Washington to formally declare that Seattle’s policy of “not inquir[ing] into the immigration status of any person unless specifically required to do so by law or court order” conforms to federal law and the Constitution. The federal funds that could be denied include grants designed to help feed low-income children and assist disabled elderly people. For his part, Trump argues that EO 13768 is necessary to ensure public safety by enforcing immigration laws to the fullest extent.
Immigration has been a key focus for Trump since his inauguration. On Monday US Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official profile] reiterated [JURIST report] that “sanctuary cities” may soon see federal funds from the Department of Justice [official website] cut off. In January, seven days after his inauguration, Trump issued an executive order [JURIST text] which limited migration from seven Muslim-majority countries, among other changes. That order has been repeatedly challenged, causing Trump to craft a new order of slightly smaller scope. The new order was challenged [JURIST report] two weeks ago by five states claiming that the revised order will still “cause severe and immediate harms.”