Update: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says Seattle is willing to risk money to stick to its principles.
Six days in to his presidency, Donald Trump made good on his promise Wednesday to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico.
Says the order: "'Wall’ shall mean a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier.”
Washington state is among six states nationwide where the undocumented immigrant population is rising. Ironically, not one of those states touches the border where the wall will be built.
In a separate executive order signed Wednesday, Trump said he would take on sanctuary cities, including Seattle, that do not ask immigrants about their legal status in the country. This could mean that Seattle would lose federal funding.
Says the order: “Jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply … are not eligible to receive federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes.”
Seattle receives about $75 million from the federal government, or about 1.3 percent of the total city budget. About $10 million are for law enforcement grants.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has ordered his department heads to comb their budgets and prepare for cuts. He said Wednesday that he is prepared to risk the money to stick by the city’s values.
Murray reaffirmed Seattle's sanctuary city status after Trump was elected in November.
“These are our neighbors and we will continue to support our neighbors, and that’s what community is all about,” Murray said.
Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
Trump may be overreaching with his order to cut off funding to sanctuary cities.
In an interview with KUOW’s Kim Malcolm last week, Professor Hugh Spitzer said the U.S. Supreme Court has prevented the federal government from being too tough on states — and cities.
“The federal government tends to induce the states and cities to do what it wants by offering money,” Spitzer said.
We won't be bullied into enforcing unconstitutional immigration policies and have the law on our side. pic.twitter.com/1PTfO9gZdN
— Ed Murray (@MayorEdMurray) January 25, 2017
President Barack Obama, for example, wanted to withhold all Medicaid funding to states that refused to comply with the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that was going too far.
“You can have relatively mild encouragement” from the federal government, Spitzer said, “but not a gun to the head.”
Spitzer said legal doctrines have been built primary by conservative justices – Antonin Scalia, William Rehnquist and John Roberts. Liberal judges have tended toward giving the federal government more power.
Seattle lawmakers promptly responded to Trump's orders on Wednesday.
U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, on the subcommittee for immigration and border security, called Trump’s order an attack on immigrant families.
“He's just using these smoke and mirror tactics to keep his base happy, but it is not going to fix anything that really needs to be fixed,” Jayapal said.
King County Executive Dow Constantine said, "We do not ask people to show their papers when they report a crime or bring their sick child to a clinic."
He continued: "We do not push children and families into the shadows, and sow fear among our neighbors who may look or speak or pray differently than the majority."
Over at Casa Latina in south Seattle, Carino Barragan Talancon does immigration advocacy work for Casa Latina in Seattle. Casa Latina opposes Trump's orders to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“It’s not the proper way to resolve the immigration problem in this country,” Talancon said.
“A lot of people think they're felons and they committed heinous crimes and that's simply untrue,” Talancon said. “I would simply ask folks try to research, learn more and see through those things, and that people deserve another chance as well."