Herrera: President’s motion is desperate move that can’t save unconstitutional order

Statement from City Attorney Dennis Herrera:

City Attorney Dennis Herrera at a press conference Jan. 31, 2017 announcing his lawsuit against President Trump for his unconstitutional executive order targeting sanctuary cities.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera at a press conference Jan. 31, 2017 announcing his lawsuit against President Trump for his unconstitutional executive order targeting sanctuary cities.

SAN FRANCISCO (July 12, 2017) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today issued the following statement following argument in U.S. District Court on motions by President Donald Trump to derail Herrera’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the president’s executive order on sanctuary jurisdictions:

We think that today’s argument went well, and we are hopeful for a positive decision from the court.

The president’s motion was a desperate Hail Mary to defend an executive order that is not only patently unconstitutional, it’s un-American.

This administration is ignoring federalism and the separation of powers like they’re simply more inconvenient facts for a president who seems allergic to the truth.

The law doesn’t allow the president to do what he’s trying to do. We don’t live under an emperor. The president does not wield the power of the purse, and the federal government cannot force local governments to do its job for it. That’s the law.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ May 22 memo is a woefully inadequate attempt to rescue an executive order whose constitutional flaws are so deep it can’t be saved. Even though we have forced the administration to back down and dramatically narrow the funding at stake, threats from this president continue. San Francisco fully complies with federal law. It’s time for this president to do the same. 

This executive order also doesn’t make sense. It won’t improve public safety. It will do the opposite. While the president plays to people’s fears by demonizing immigrants, the evidence is clear: not only are immigrants less likely to commit crimes, sanctuary jurisdictions also have lower crime rates. That’s because victims and witnesses are willing to come forward and report crimes to police. That gets criminals off the streets and makes everyone safer.

The president likes to spread the falsehood that sanctuary jurisdictions harbor criminals. Not true. The federal government knows everyone in San Francisco’s jails. We send them their fingerprints. If the federal government thinks someone is dangerous, all they need to do is get a criminal warrant or a court order.

San Francisco chooses to spend its limited law enforcement resources on fighting crime, not vilifying hard-working immigrants. The federal immigration system has been broken for a long time. It’s time for bipartisan reform that is humane, realistic and comprehensive. Building a wall is not the answer. Part of the solution includes recognizing the contributions that immigrants, the vast majority of  whom follow the law, make to our communities and economy. They have built families, businesses and homes here. Tearing that apart doesn’t make sense for anyone.”

The case is: City and County of San Francisco v. Donald J. Trump, et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Case No. 3:17-cv-00485, filed Jan. 31, 2017. Additional documentation from the case is available on the City Attorney’s website at: https://www.sfcityattorney.org
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