Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is stepping up his rhetoric against President Donald Trump today, vowing to sue the Trump administration if it does not provide clarity on its plans for "sanctuary cities" and immigrants who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In his State of the City address delivered at Idris Mosque this morning, Murray announced that the city would file a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with multiple federal agencies. The city wants to know the administration's definition of "sanctuary cities," actions the feds may take against those cities, and changes to travel and immigration policy including DACA.
If the feds don't respond "in a timely manner," the city will sue, Murray said. "We believe that the rule of law is on our side," the mayor said.
The FOIA request, which you can read here, is extensive.
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes asks for documents and communications relating to the "drafting, interpretation, enforcement, and implementation" of Trump's January 25 immigration executive order, which targeted sanctuary cities and directed the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hire more officers. He also requests all "policies, procedures, and plans" about enforcement of immigration laws against current and future DACA recipients.
As a way of trying to parse the feds' definition of "sanctuary" cities and counties (there is no standard definition), Holmes asks for records about cities and counties that aren't considered sanctuaries. He also requests federal records about Seattle and King County immigration policies as well as number of immigrants taken into custody by ICE in King County since Trump's inauguration as well as their immigration status, the reason for their detention, and the status of their case. The city will submit the request to ICE, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice, according to the mayor's office.
In a letter accompanying the request, Holmes requests that the feds expedite their response because of "intense media interest in this subject, not only in Seattle but across the country."
Federal law requires federal agencies to respond to records requests within 20 days. A spokesperson for the mayor could not say today exactly what will be considered a "timely manner."