LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14, (Xinhua) -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit Monday morning against the Trump Administration over its threats to withhold public safety funds from so-called "sanctuary" cities.
This suit answered U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session's threat to withhold appropriated 28.3 million U.S. dollars in law enforcement funding grants to California unless the Golden State police grant the federal government full access to their stations and arrest records.
Trump Administration took an "unconstitutional attempt to force California law enforcement officials to engage in federal immigration enforcement, rather than allow them to use their discretion to determine how best to keep their communities safe," a press release issued by California Attorney General Office read.
"By placing unconstitutional immigration enforcement conditions on public safety grants, the Trump Administration is threatening to harm a range of law enforcement initiatives across California" the press release cited Recerra's words, "We will fight these unlawful federal actions that would make California less safe."
"Sanctuary" is used for cities that do not permit police or municipal employees to inquire about one's immigration status, or for funds to be applied to enforce federal immigration laws.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on Jan. 25 seeking to withhold federal funding for so-called "sanctuary jurisdictions". U.S. Department of Justice issued a directive last month warning nine local governments may lose federal funding because of their "sanctuary" policies.
The nine governments on the blacklist includes Chicago, the state of California, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Clark County of Nevada, Cook County of Illinois, Miami-Dade County of Florida, and Milwaukee County of Wisconsin.
Both Trump' s Executive Order and Session's threat have been the subject of legal challenges. Chicago launched a suit over this issue last Monday, California and San Francisco followed the step.
Becerra and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who filed a parallel lawsuit Monday on behalf of the city, announced the suits at a press conference together, arguing that "It's our right and it's our duty to fight to protect our law enforcement officers...and to protect the resources that they rely upon."
"We're in the public safety business," Becerra added, "We're not in the deportation business."
Political experts pointed out one of the reasons that these states and city governments being targeted by Trump administration because they are all Democratic stronghold places.
"Sanctuary cities are located in traditionally blue states," Californian Blogger Rick Gage told Xinhua earlier, "Maybe it is time for these blue states to start withholding tax dollars from a federal government which only seems to spend, foolishly, on walls and wars that guard against imaginary enemies."