San Francisco Sues Trump Over Sanctuary City Funding Ban

San Francisco has filed the first lawsuit against Trump’s sanctuary city order, which also affects Philadelphia.

Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

In what could be the first of a wave of lawsuits over the issue, San Francisco has sued President Donald Trump over his plans to strip so-called “sanctuary cities” of federal funding. Philadelphia is one of the cities targeted by Trump’s executive order.

The suit was filed on Tuesday by San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera. “The president’s executive order is not only unconstitutional, it’s un-American,” Herrera said. “That is why we must stand up and oppose it. We are a nation of immigrants and a land of laws. We must be the ‘guardians of our democracy’ that President Obama urged us all to be in his farewell address.”

Jim Kenney has said Philadelphia will keep its “sanctuary” status despite Trump’s order saying the federal government will strip it of funding. At least 40 cities and 364 counties have some form of policy that forbids or discourages cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

At a news conference announcing the lawsuit, Herrera said the order was unconstitutional because it “tries to turn city and state employees into federal immigration enforcers.”

San Francisco is frequently cited as a catalyst for the anti-sanctuary city movement. Kathryn Steinle, a resident of the city, was killed by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who had previously been deported five times. There was a detainer request from federal immigration authorities requesting local law enforcement hold him.

The 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from making states enforce federal law, and many legal experts have agreed Trump’s order is likely unconstitutional. A San Francisco attorney and RNC member, Harmeet Dhillon, told NBC Bay Area he sees no constitutional issue with Trump’s order.