by Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News
SAN FRANCISCO — As President Donald Trump begins to crack down on undocumented immigrants and families — San Francisco is the first city to fight back, by filing a lawsuit against him.
City Attorney of San Francisco Dennis Herrera was joined by Mayor Ed Lee and other city leaders, as they filed a lawsuit over Trump’s executive order targeting sanctuary cities.
Keeping with his campaign promise — the President threatened to withhold federal funding from cities that hinder efforts to capture and deport undocumented immigrants.
San Francisco is one of the 400 sanctuary cities in the US that have sanctuary laws to combat federal immigration policies that some find extreme, especially in relation to minor and non-violent crimes.
“The President’s executive order is not only unconstitutional, it’s un-American,” says Herrera. “That is why we must stand up and oppose it. We must be the ‘guardians of our democracy’ that President Obama urged us all to be, in his farewell address.”
City leaders argue that Trump is commandeering the local police force, and turning them into the deportation arm of the federal government.
San Francisco is expected to lose $1.2 billion dollars a year in federal funding — money which is used for health care, education, transportation, and other necessities.
Herrera says that he expects other cities to follow suit and send a message to the trump white house about — what he calls — “presidential over-reach”.
“You’re not emperor who rules by fiat. We all have to abide by the rule of law, and we’re going to make that quite clear in this thing,” said Herrera. “San Francisco is in accordance with the law. We’re going to live by the law, but Mr. President, you and your administration needs to do it as well.”
Meanwhile, Aurora Victoria David of the Filipino Community Center has already been calling for San Francisco to remain a sanctuary city — in order to protect the well being of undocumented Filipinos.
“[These are] basic human rights – anyone has the right to due process,” says David. “Whether if they committed a crime or not, they do have a right to legal representation, attorneys, to help them in court, to represent them.”
David says that while her organization supports the lawsuit — they also hope that the city can do more in preparation of possible raids.
“They could also provide more resources to the community, like legal defenders for immigrants…and provide trainings.”
The Filipino Community Center says that ever since the election of President Trump — they have been busy answering questions from undocumented kababayans about their legal rights, and connecting them with lawyers.
And like the city leaders, they hope the lawsuit will be enough to protect residents from Trump’s executive orders.