The Massachusetts cities of Chelsea and Lawrence are joining San Francisco in challenging President Trump's executive order to strip funding from sanctuary cities. Those cities, which choose not to aid ICE agents, believe the president has acted beyond his constitutional authority. They filed a lawsuit in Boston on Wednesday.
“This executive order comes in and unconstitutionally coerces (the communities) to use local resources in a way that is contrary to important principles of local control, and the local officials’ determination regarding what is best for their citizens, for the citizens of Chelsea and Lawrence,” said Inez Friedman-Boyce, a partner at Goodwin, an international law firm with offices in Boston. The law firm is working in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice to represent the two communities pro bono.
“It’s an unconstitutional effort to commandeer local resources to do the job of the federal government,” she said.
Federal intrusion, these communities argue, disrupts their attempt to build trust with undocumented citizens.
California is so protective of illegal immigrants that it is taking steps to become the first sanctuary state, with liberal lawmakers introducing legislation. If they reach sanctuary status, Trump intends to defund the state.
Other state leadership, however, are fully behind the president, arguing that sanctuary cities undermine America's national security. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is taking matters into his own hands, pledging to punish counties who do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.