U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the country this week that American cities are breaking the law and making their communities unsafe.
Apparently, the Trump administration’s War on Facts continues unabated.
And they’ve now turned it into a War on Cities…
…on our values of inclusion…. On our values of community. Against the value we place on safety.
Let me be clear about the facts: We are not breaking any laws. And we are prioritizing safety.
And let me be clear about the president’s executive order that we are supposedly violating: It is unconstitutional.
Today, Seattle filed a lawsuit in United States District Court against President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Homeland Security Director John Kelly outlining precisely why the president’s order is illegal.
First, it is fundamental to the 10th Amendment that the federal government cannot specify how local government must go about enforcing federal law. Yet that is exactly what the president’s order does.
Second, the U.S. Constitution says the federal government may not coerce local governments by denying federal program dollars for reasons not germane to that program. Yet that is exactly what the president’s order does.
Bullying appears to be the Trump administration’s M.O.
But bullying and misstating the facts will not stand in a country of laws.
It is particularly galling to hear the Attorney General say that Seattle isn’t prioritizing safety when we welcome immigrants into our community, dedicate resources to help immigrants on a pathway to citizenship, and warmly integrate immigrant schoolchildren into our classrooms.
We do all this in Seattle, and are proud to call ourselves a Welcoming City, precisely because we know these policies foster safety.
It’s when you marginalize people and drive them away from city services, and make them fearful of the police, and push them underground that communities become unsafe.
The data is clear: Crime rates drop as immigrant communities grow. In our city’s most diverse police precinct, South Seattle, crime dropped 20 percent in 2015 and then dropped an additional 4 percent in 2016.
The Trump administration’s fear mongering about immigrants is out of sync with the facts. And out of sync with Seattle’s values: The Trump administration’s executive order is about bigotry. Not safety.
In addition to laying out the facts, our lawsuit is about staying true to our values.
We value civil rights, and we will look to the courts and the constitution to defend those rights.