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San Francisco First City to Sue Trump Over Sanctuary City Funding

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Pres. Trump Displays Executive Order Signed Jan. 25, 2017 | photo Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Pres. Trump displays Executive Order signed Jan. 25, 2017 which includes the denial of federal funding to "sanctuary" cities   | photo Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Although San Francisco filed a lawsuit Tuesday against President Donald Trump over his executive order aimed at denying federal funding to so-called "sanctuary" cities, Los Angeles has no immediate plans to do the same.

Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for City Attorney Mike Feuer, told City News Service that Feuer convened a meeting of senior level staff the day after Trump's election to discuss possible lawsuits, and "we are still weighing our options."

The lawsuit filed by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera contends that Trump's order, which was signed last Wednesday, is unconstitutional.

"The president's executive order is not only unconstitutional, it's un- American," Herrera said. "That's why we must stand up and oppose it."

The lawsuit is the first filed by a city opposing Trump's threat to cut funding.

While not fitting the typical definition of a sanctuary city, where immigrants in the country illegally are shielded from federal authorities, the Los Angeles Police Department for decades has followed Special Order 40, which states officers will not detain a person for the sole purpose of determining their immigration status.

There are also other special projects that could be threatened, like a $1.4 billion plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to revitalize the Los Angeles River. The city is hoping to split the cost with the federal government.

It's unclear if Los Angeles could face a loss of federal funds, since Trump's order declares that "sanctuary jurisdictions" would be determined by the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

"These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic," according to Trump's executive order.

Los Angeles receives roughly $500 million in federal support annually. There are also other special projects that could be threatened, like a $1.4 billion plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to revitalize the Los Angeles River. The city is hoping to split the cost with the federal government.

Although Feuer has not filed a lawsuit against Trump, he has taken a number of other stances opposing the president's immigration policies.

Feuer threw his support behind a city plan to donate $2 million to a legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation. He also tried to meet with people who were detained at Los Angeles International Airport by federal agents over the weekend after Trump issued a travel ban on anyone trying to enter the country from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Feuer was rebuffed by federal agents.

"There are residents of this city who have friends and relatives who have the right to return," Feuer told CNS on Sunday. "And the detainees are in many cases residents of the city of Los Angeles, and have loved ones here in this city, waiting for reunification."

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