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Mayor Ed Murray may sue Donald Trump, and more from his State of the City address

caption: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in the KUOW studios.
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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Seattle officials are threatening to sue the Trump Administration if they don't get detailed information about the president's immigration policies.

Mayor Ed Murray made the threat during the state of the city address Tuesday.

Murray said the city is filing public records requests with multiple federal agencies. He wants to know what enforcement actions federal agencies may take against sanctuary cities like Seattle. The requests call for the federal agencies to provide Seattle “all records and plans pertaining to the intent and enforcement” of the executive order on sanctuary cities.

Murray said he'll sue if he doesn't get a response within 20 days.

"Remaining open to all is a fundamental value of this city. Seattle is a great city because of immigrants and refugees. In today's atmosphere of uncertainty and fear, we reaffirm our commitment that we will remain a welcoming city for all," Murray said in his address.

He said the city is filing the records requests because immigrants and refugees in Seattle need that information.

The requests also seek details about what immigration laws are changing. In particular, the city is seeking information on the DACA program that gives some children temporary legal status.

Seattle leaders are developing new ways to help immigrants, including hosting free workshops about citizenship and legal rights.

City officials have showed no signs of backing down from sanctuary city practices, even as the Trump Administration threatens to withhold federal funding.

More taxes and programs on the horizon

Murray also proposed tax increases during his annual state of the city address.

One of them would help fund homeless services. Seattle has more than 3,000 people living without shelter.

He said he would prefer to get financial help from President Trump, but Seattle has to face reality.

"Developing a national homelessness agenda is not a priority for this new administration. We cannot wait, Seattle must keep moving forward,” he said.

“In fact I believe we must double the city's spending on homelessness."

Murray is pushing for the property tax increase to be on the August ballot. He said it would cost $13 more per month for the median household.

Critics say it's disappointing.

"It's appalling to us that Mayor Murray acknowledges that the homeless services system is not working properly, or even remotely efficiently, so you would think that he would go and fix that before coming to us for more money,” said Harley Lever, founder of Safe Seattle, a group that advocates for reducing crime and homelessness.

Lever said the city needs to reform the system, not put more money toward the problem.

Murray is also proposing a tax on sugary drinks. Murray said if approved, the money would go toward paying for the first year of college for Seattle students.

Distributors of soda, juice, and sugary tea or coffee would have to pay a $0.02 tax per ounce.

Aside from tax changes, Murray also announced the city's first ever initiative meant to help young black men reach success. The program will connect black youth with mentors, among other things.

Produced for the Web by Paige Browning.

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