The war on cities begins…
1) Both politically, as everyone reported the news today:
Sessions said that compliance with federal immigration laws will be a prerequisite for states and localities that want to receive grants from the department’s Office of Justice Programs. The office provides billions of dollars in grants and other funding to help criminal justice programs across the country.
2) …and intellectually, as the NYT’s conservative columnist recently wrote …
(it’s a fanciful column, but it does capture the spirit of Trump’s agenda) ….
We should treat liberal cities the way liberals treat corporate monopolies — not as growth-enhancing assets, but as trusts that concentrate wealth and power and conspire against the public good. And instead of trying to make them a little more egalitarian with looser zoning rules and more affordable housing, we should make like Teddy Roosevelt and try to break them up.
King County responds to Sessions threat here, and we do here:
Mayor Murray, City Attorney Holmes respond to Attorney General Sessions’ threats against ‘sanctuary cities’
SEATTLE (March 27, 2017) – Today, Mayor Ed Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes issued the following statements in response to comments made by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatening to withhold grants from so-called “sanctuary cities”:
“Attorney General Jeff Session’s latest threat does not change our position,” said Mayor Murray. “As I’ve said, I’m willing to risk losing every penny of federal funding to stand by our commitment to protect everyone in our community. Attorney General Sessions’ threat to claw back federal funding only strengthens our resolve to fight back. We will keep all our Welcoming Cities policies in place. Attorney General Sessions accused Welcoming Cities like Seattle of harming their respective communities. However, we are helping those in our community by assisting residents on the path to citizenship and warmly integrating immigrant schoolchildren into our classrooms. But the federal government is intent on driving people underground. If Attorney General Sessions is so concerned about Seattle’s safety, pulling law enforcement dollars from cities nationwide is the height of hypocrisy and makes us less safe. Research shows cities with larger foreign-born populations experience less violent crime. Bigotry, not safety, seems to be at the heart of the White House immigration policy.”
City Attorney Pete Holmes added, “Just like the original executive order targeting so-called ‘sanctuary cities,’ today’s press statements in D.C. provided little if any legal clarity to guide otherwise law abiding Welcoming Cities like Seattle. The Attorney General’s comments appear to be little more than cynical attempts to talk about anything other than Trumpcare or Russia following a bad week for the Trump administration. At the same time, Seattle should know that my office and the Mayor’s Office have been working ever since President Trump’s ‘sanctuary cities’ order was signed to explore all avenues to protect Seattle’s interests, and most of all its values. The City will not be bullied into abandoning its principles. Stay tuned.”