Executive Order
Issued on January 25, 2017

Policy Summary

On January 25th Trump signed an executive order entitled: “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”, which called for federal funding to be withheld from states that allow sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities are cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials. The order drew swift condemnation from immigration activists across the country. A federal judge in California however, has struck down the portion of the executive order which allows the federal government to withhold funding from sanctuary cities. Additionally, Attorney Generals from 5 States and the District of Columbia are coordinating to permanently stop the order.


The legal challenges to the executive order are rooted in the 10th Amendment, which stipulates that any powers not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution are given to the states. Ironically, the legal basis for this defense is rooted in an Antonin Scalia Supreme Court ruling in which he stated: “the Tenth Amendment prohibited the federal government from “commandeering” the cooperation of state governments in enforcing federal law.” While the legal basis for the order is very shaky, and as such it will likely not hold up in court, it’s important to stay vigilant as immigration arrests are up 38% with Trump as president.

Engagement Resources

  • Local Options for Protecting Immigrants – This document hosted by the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights notes what steps local governments can take to protect immigrants against federal government actions.
  • Resistance Manual – Crisis Resources – If you know someone who is facing immigration troubles, please share this compendium of legal resources and relevant nonprofit organizations with them.Immigration Volunteer Search: Search for immigration volunteer opportunities near you, and do your part to help those under siege from Trump’s policies.
  • Immigration Volunteer Search – Search for immigration volunteer opportunities near you, and do your part to help those under siege from Trump’s policies.

This brief was compiled by William Lucier. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact william@usresistnews.org.



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