Derek Reinbold  //  4/2/17  //  Topic Update


Seattle filed suit Wednesday challenging President Trump’s executive order threatening to revoke federal funding from sanctuary cities (PoliticoABA Journal).

  • The complaint can be found here.
  • Kevin Johnson explains the city’s primary legal arguments: that the executive order is unconstitutionally vague and coercive, and that the city’s policies do not violate federal law (ImmigrationProf Blog).
  • At Volokh Conspiracy, David Post proposes rebranding “sanctuary cities” as “constitutional cities,” arguing that these jurisdictions are not inhibiting law enforcement but rather protecting “cherished constitutional principles.”
  • Michael Crowley of the Brennan Center for Justice argues that the Administration’s focus on sanctuary cities is detrimental to public safety.
  • Meanwhile, Connecticut Governor Dannel Manoy unveiled a preparedness tool for undocumented parents in the event they are detained by ICE (BBC).

Despite ongoing legal challenges, President Trump’s immigration policies—from the travel ban to threatening sanctuary cities—are exacting immediate harm, argues Heather Digby Parton (Salon).

  • Agency officials report that fearful undocumented workers have stopped cooperating with Department of Labor investigations, which have historically operated independently of immigration enforcement (The Guardian).
  • CNN reports that ICE is targeting sanctuary cities with increased enforcement operations.
  • On NPR, Karen Grigsby Bates reports that police departments in sanctuary cities worry that fear of deportation discourages immigrants from reporting crimes.
  • On the Immigration Professor Blog, Bill O. Hing discusses several incidents of ICE retaliating against activists for immigration advocacy.
  • Also on the Immigration Professor Blog, Kit Johnson notes that after an ICE raid in Las Cruces, New Mexico, a public school in that community saw a sixty percent spike in absences compared to the previous week.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s threat to withdraw federal funds from sanctuary cities could prompt a legal showdown, explains Scott Bomboy for Constitution Daily.

  • David Leopold argues that Sessions's legal analysis is flawed.
  • NYT addresses questions about the Attorney General's threat.
  • The LA Times reports that sanctuary city leaders vow to stand firm.
  • At Notice & Comment, Bernard W. Bell argues that President Trump’s executive order is likely unconstitutional on anti-commandeering grounds.

Officials from sanctuary cities around the country met in New York to discuss their response to threats from the Department of Justice (NYT).

  • NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a statement arguing that Trump lacks the authority to cut off funding to sanctuary jurisdictions.
  • At Rewire, Tina Vasquez reports on Schneiderman's statement.

Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018

1/28/18  //  Daily Update

At Take Care, Eli Savit argued that the Trump Administration's threats against sanctuary cities are baseless, but that the rhetoric is nonetheless dangerous. The Justice Department subpoenaed letters from sanctuary cities across the country.

Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018

1/14/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump’s top immigration chief said he was preparing to significantly increase his agency’s enforcement presence in California because of last year’s passage of a “sanctuary state” law.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Update | The Week of November 27, 2017

12/4/17  //  Daily Update

A jury acquitted an undocumented immigrant in a case that President Trump often cited as a part of his opposition to sanctuary cities. Judicial rulings against President Trump's effort to deny funding to sanctuary cities have implications for federalism and separation of powers debates.

Jeffrey Stein

Columbia Law School