S.F. City Attorney Asks Court to Block Trump Order Stripping ‘Sanctuary City’ Funding

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera says not only is President Trump's executive order to strip funding from sanctuary cities illegal, but that it also undermines local communities by 'sowing distrust of law enforcement.'

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera says not only is President Trump's executive order to strip funding from sanctuary cities illegal, but that it also undermines local communities by 'sowing distrust of law enforcement.' (Ryan Levi/KQED)

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is asking a federal court to block part of a presidential executive order that directs the Trump administration to strip federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities.

President Trump issued the order just days after assuming office, and Herrera sued the following week. In a court filing on Wednesday, Herrera said the city can’t wait for the case to play out — or even for Trump to withhold the money — because they’re trying to craft a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

In the filing, Herrera wrote that the consequences of what he calls a “presidential fiat” are “potentially catastrophic” — the city stands to lose as much as $2 billion — and San Francisco “cannot stand idly by waiting for the Executive Order’s uncertain process to unfold.”

“Withdrawing all — or even a substantial amount — of federal funding would be devastating to San Francisco: the City would be forced to reduce the number of first responders, suspend capital projects, and slash critical service programs,” he added.

The city would have to put money into a budget reserve to account for the potential loss of significant funds — and that money wouldn’t be available for other services and programs when the new fiscal year begins.

Though the Trump administration may clarify the scope of the order in the weeks and months to come, “there is no assurance they will,” and the city has to make decisions about a budget reserve by May 15. “San Francisco therefore has no choice but to seek this Court’s intervention now,” Herrera said.

As KQED has previously reported, there are serious legal questions about whether the Trump administration can withhold most federal dollars — questions Herrera brings up in the filing.

  • Kurt thialfad

    Dump the sanctuary ordinance. It is highly unpopular. It makes us less safe. It discriminates against Americans.

Author

Marisa Lagos

Marisa Lagos reports on state politics for KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk, which uses radio, television and online mediums to explore the latest news in California’s Capitol and dig deeper into political influence in the Golden State. Marisa also appears on a weekly podcast analyzing the week’s political news.

Before joining KQED, Marisa worked  at the San Francisco Examiner and Los Angeles Times, and, most recently, for nine years at the San Francisco Chronicle where she covered San Francisco City Hall and state politics, focusing on the California legislature, governor, budget and criminal justice. In 2011, she won a special award for extensive and excellent work in covering California justice issues from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and also helped lead the Chronicle's award-winning breaking news coverage of the 2010 San Bruno Pacific Gas & Electric explosion. She has also been awarded a number of fellowships from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York.

Marisa has a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She and lives in San Francisco with her two sons and husband. Email: mlagos@kqed.org Twitter @mlagos Facebook facebook.com/marisalagosnews

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