The city of Santa Fe joined 33 other cities and counties in a lawsuit against the federal government over President Donald Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities.
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, a Democrat, has been an outspoken opponent of Trump’s war on sanctuary cities. Trump promised to halt federal funding to the areas, arguing that by not aiding federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws, the communities are protecting criminals.
The amicus brief in the lawsuit brought by Santa Clara County in California says Trump’s executive order violates the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, violates the Constitution’s Due Process Clause and does not provide procedural due process.
The brief asks for a nationwide injunction.
“It’s unprecedented and unfortunate that the president has taken this route, choosing to spend his early term attacking the cities that drive our nation’s economy and innovation,” Gonzales said in a statement Monday. “But he has, and we’re proud to be part of the group proactively taking the fight to Washington as we enter uncharted territory on this issue.”
An effort to make New Mexico a sanctuary state failed in the legislative session earlier this year.
Trump has already suffered major setbacks from executive orders aimed at stopping travel from several Muslim-majority countries. When a federal appeals court stopped his first attempt at the travel ban—after days of confusion and snarled travel—Trump came back with another attempt. Another appeals court stopped that travel ban before it went into effect.
Earlier Monday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to media at the daily White House press briefing. Sessions warned cities of a loss of federal funding.
“I strongly urge our nation’s states and cities and counties to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and to rethink these policies,” Sessions said. “Such policies make their cities and states less safe—public safety, as well as national security, are at stake—and put them at risk of losing federal dollars.”
Sessions said the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Program and Community Oriented Policing plans on awarding more than $4 billion in grants this year.
Sessions cited “DUIs, assaults, burglaries, drug crimes, gang rapes, crimes against children, and murderers” as reasons cities should repeal their sanctuary policies.
Data shows that sanctuary cities are safer and more prosperous than other cities.