Sanctuary Cities

The Trump Administration has threatened to punish state and local governments that decline to cooperate with federal officials in immigration enforcement.

Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017

7/23/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Jeff Sessions misstated the findings of two major studies on sanctuary-city policies.

Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017

7/16/17  //  Daily Update

Democrats in New York proposed new protections for undocumented immigrants.

Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

Reports continue that sanctuary cities' efforts are working.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

California's new budget prohibits municipalities from entering into contracts with ICE to house immigration detainees.

Versus Trump: The Healthcare Episode

6/1/17  //  Commentary

On a new episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, Easha and Jason dig into healthcare for the first time, as they take a deep dive into the House v. Price litigation that addresses whether certain payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act have been properly appropriated. They also debate immigration rhetoric vs. action and discuss drug testing for unemployment benefits. Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Sessions Retreats, but Doesn’t Surrender, on Sanctuary Cities

5/23/17  //  Quick Reactions

Yesterday, AG Sessions issued his official interpretation of the executive order President Trump issued in January regarding sanctuary cities. The interpretation is notable for its narrowness. But ultimately, the memorandum is more of a retreat than a surrender.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

California is considering legislation to keep its data from ICE.

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

The Justice Department hasn't yet appealed the preliminary injunction against President Trump's executive order threatening sanctuary cities with loss of federal funds.

A Texan Attack on Sanctuary Cities

5/4/17  //  Commentary

Sanctuary cities now face another threat much closer to home: their own state governments. And it will come as no surprise that the Lone Star State has led the way in seeking to shut down local efforts at protecting the dignity of undocumented migrants.

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

Analyzing Trump's Reaction to the First Sanctuary City Ruling

4/27/17  //  Commentary

Why did Trump bash a judicial decision blocking an order that, if you believe his own lawyers, does nothing, changes nothing, and likely won't be applied to anybody?

Joshua Matz


The Federal Statute on Sanctuary Cities Doesn’t Say What the Trump Administration Thinks It Says

4/27/17  //  Commentary

The statute, 8 U.S.C. § 1373(a), says nothing about Trump’s biggest complaint.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Embracing Federalism

3/16/17  //  Commentary

It is time for progressives to embrace federalism and to use Supreme Court precedents protecting states’ rights to fight against Trump administration policies

Erwin Chemerinsky

U.C. Irvine School of Law

An Unconstitutional Threat to Sanctuary Cities

3/21/17  //  Commentary

DOJ argues that courts can't hear challenges to Trump's executive order threatening to punish sanctuary cities. Its arguments are wrong and prove that Trump's policy is illegal.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Santa Clara v. Trump and the Perils of the Gestural Presidency

4/26/17  //  Quick Reactions

If we had a president less concerned with posing as a man of action and more as the fiduciary taking care that the laws be faithfully executed, he would probably do better in court. I don't foresee him changing course.

Peter M. Shane

Ohio State, Moritz College of Law

A Powerful Statement by the California Chief Justice

3/20/17  //  Quick Reactions

In urging the Attorney General to cease using state courthouses as bait for undocumented migrants, the California Chief Justice displayed admirable bravery and commitment to the rule of law.

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

With Sanctuary Cities, the Apprentice is Now the Biggest Loser

4/26/17  //  Quick Reactions

If Trump keeps tweeting his lawyers will have their work cut out for them

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

The Rule of Law Means Little If The President’s Word Means Nothing

4/26/17  //  Quick Reactions

In a new op-ed, I emphasize the importance of taking President Trump at his word–even as efforts to save his executive orders from his tweets inevitably push Trump's defenders to come up with new and creative reasons for ignoring Trump's public statements.

Joshua Matz


The Attack on American Cities

4/7/17  //  Commentary

Trump's anti-urban rhetoric has fanned the flames of a war by state governments against progressive cities. We see this in battles over sanctuary cities, LGBT rights, gun regulation, employee rights. The time has come for a campaign on behalf of city power.

Richard C. Schragger

UVA School of Law

Trump Is Weakening His Only Defense of the Sanctuary Cities Order . . . by Enforcing It

4/24/17  //  Commentary

DOJ argues that Trump's orders threatening sanctuary cities can't be challenged because they remain speculative. But a recent volley of menacing letters from DOJ to sanctuary cities and counties, and to the State of California, has blasted a hole in DOJ's own defense.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

Texas state legislatures are cracking down on immigration and Attorney General Sessions may be disingenuous in citing violations of federal law by sanctuary cities.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

This week, Trump Administration suspended reports on sanctuary cities amid accuracy questions.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

Sanctuary cities may become sanctuary states.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's continued focus on sanctuary cities poses legal problems, as cities like Seattle bring challenges on anti-commandeering grounds. In the meantime, the Trump Administration's immigration agenda is exacting an immediate harm.

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

Judge Orrick issued a preliminary injunction against the Administration's executive order against sanctuary cities. Meanwhile, Attorney General Sessions wrote to nine localities to ensure they are communicating with the federal government for immigration enforcement.

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

This week, commentators focused on the constitutionality of federal threats to withdraw funds from sanctuary cities.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17