Cal. Litig. 2017, Volume 30, Number 3

San Francisco v. Trump: Defending Our Sanctuary City

By Mollie Lee, Sara Eisenberg, and Molly Alarcon

On the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump repeatedly threatened to cut federal funding from "sanctuary cities," local jurisdictions that limit assistance with federal immigration enforcement. Five days after assuming office, President Trump followed through on his threat by issuing Executive Order 13,768, directing defunding and enforcement actions against sanctuary cities.

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San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera was prepared to resist. We filed San Francisco v. Trump in late January, making San Francisco the first jurisdiction to challenge President Trump’s sanctuary city Executive Order. In April, we obtained a nationwide preliminary injunction; in July, we defeated a motion to dismiss and motion to reconsider the preliminary injunction. When Attorney General Jefferson Sessions tried a related tactic to defund sanctuary cities in August, we promptly filed a new suit challenging that.

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