League of California Cities, National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors, Concerned with Provisions that Threaten Local Control, Dictate How Cities Allocate Public Safety Resources
In keeping with his campaign promise to strengthen immigration enforcement, on Wednesday, Jan. 25, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that includes provisions stating that “sanctuary jurisdictions” are “not eligible to receive Federal grants” with unclear exceptions.
He signed the order during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security.
Although there is no statutory or legal definition of a “sanctuary jurisdiction” or “sanctuary city,” under the executive order, they are defined as ones who are not in compliance with a federal law that prohibits or restricts cities from prohibiting local agencies from cooperating with federal agencies to identify a person’s immigration status. The U.S. Attorney General and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security will decide who is and who is not a “sanctuary jurisdiction.”
In a statement responding to the executive order, the League of California Cities® expressed concern that the President’s actions will interfere with local control over how scarce local police resources in communities are allocated. The League also expressed concern that the threat of federal sanctions connected to immigration enforcement under the executive order will undermine effective local policing, including ongoing efforts to strengthen police-community relations and build trust.
Instead of an executive order that would shift federal responsibility for enforcement of federal laws to local governments, the League continues to advocate for the President and Congress to enact a comprehensive and balanced approach to fixing the nation’s immigration system — one that not only addresses equitable enforcement, but also incorporates thoughtful and sensitive solutions to the realities associated with millions of families, students and workers living in California and throughout the country.
Other components of the President’s executive order outlined the enforcement priorities of the Administration, require the creation of guidance and regulations to ensure the collection of related civil fines and penalties, authorize the hiring of 10,000 additional immigration officers, and direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to enter into agreements to authorize state and local law enforcement officials to perform the functions of immigration officers.
Various Constitutional questions are also being explored as attorneys review the matter. One area involves the 10th Amendment and the powers that are reserved to the states. Case law likely limits the ability of the federal government to withhold existing funding as a method of compelling local enforcement of federal immigration laws. The U.S. Supreme Court recently held in NIFB v. Sebelius (2012) that it was unconstitutional for the federal government to withhold Medicaid funds from states in an effort to compel them to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Separation of powers issues may also exist between the roles of the President and Congress over authority to condition existing grant funds.
Considerable uncertainty exists on how this issue will evolve in the coming weeks and months. More information may be forthcoming from the U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security as to which jurisdictions the executive order will apply and the specific funding involved. At the state level, the Governor, Attorney General and legislative leadership have all been vocal on the issue and the potential exists for litigation and other actions.
The League will continue to analyze the executive order, seek additional information as to its application and impacts and inform cities as the issue develops.
Executive Director Abdi Soltani Condemns Trump’s Discriminatory Immigration Ban
The ACLU of California condemns the anti-immigrant actions taken this week by President Donald Trump.
On behalf of the ACLU of Northern California, I oppose today’s executive order banning entry to the United States from Muslim-majority and Middle Eastern nations in the strongest possible terms. It flies in the face of the American values we hold dear.
The ban is an initial step in a Trump-era agenda that promises to persecute certain faiths, nationalities, and people of color. It is a blatant attempt to circumvent laws and our Constitution prohibiting religious discrimination. Today’s actions are reminiscent of a shameful part of our American story, the Chinese Exclusion Act, which belongs in the dustbin of history. We are better than this state-sanctioned discrimination.
President Trump’s actions today do not reflect the values that make America great. Our nation is stronger when we stand united against hate and fear.
And finally, as a proud American citizen who was born on this soil and whose family immigrated from Iran, I want to reaffirm that immigrants are a vibrant part of the very fabric of this country. Iranian-Americans and those from the other target countries love the United States. Many in our community have immigrated as refugees and we have embraced the freedoms this country has always strived to cherish and protect. Iranian-Americans and those from the other target countries have contributed greatly to American life and culture, as have immigrants and refugees from across the globe.
We condemn today’s executive order. As the ACLU fights to protect the rights of all Americans, we will fight to protect the rights of immigrants and refugees in the months and years to come.
Abdi Soltani is the Executive Director of the ACLU of Northern California.
CAIR to Announce Constitutional Challenge to Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Executive Order
On Monday, January 30, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a news conference at its Capitol Hill headquarters in Washington, D.C., to announced the filing of a federal lawsuit on behalf of more than 20 individuals challenging the “Muslim ban” executive order signed today by President Donald Trump.
WHAT: CAIR to Hold News Conference to Announce Suit Against Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Order
WHEN: Monday, January 30, 1 p.m.
WHERE: CAIR’s Capitol Hill Headquarters, 453 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20003
CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org
The lawsuit, to be filed in the U.S. District Court – Western District of Virginia, will challenge the constitutionality of the order because its apparent purpose and underlying motive is to ban people of the Islamic faith from Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
“There is no evidence that refugees – the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation – are a threat to national security,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena F. Masri, Esq. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.”
“The courts must do what President Trump will not—ensure that our government refrains from segregating people based on their faith,” said Attorney Gadeir Abbas, Esq., who is co-counsel on the lawsuit.
“Our First Amendment is under attack. We, as attorneys, are foot soldiers of the American Constitution and took an oath to protect all from being targeted by the government because of their faith,” said Attorney Shereef Akeel, Esq., who is also co-counsel on the lawsuit.