by Frankie Taggart with Paul Handley in Washington
A United States judge on Tuesday blocked an government order by President Donald Trump that would deny billions of to so-called sanctuary cities as punishment for harboring unlawful immigrants.
Dealing a recent setback to Trump’s pledged crackdown on undocumented residents, Judge William Orrick of San Francisco’s federal courtroom issued a preliminary injunction barring any try to implement the January 25 government order.
“Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves,” Orrick stated.
The choice — which may impression greater than 300 cities and counties which have denounced Trump’s order — is one other blow to the White House following profitable courtroom challenges to its two journey bans concentrating on Muslim-majority nations.
Trump’s order threatened the switch of some $1.7 billion to Santa Clara County and $1.2 billion for San Francisco.
Santa Clara counsel James R. Williams described it as “a historic affirmation” of the constitutional precept that Washington can not “coerce local governments into becoming federal immigration enforcers.”
Orrick famous that the federal government’s attorneys had sought to keep away from arguing the problem of whether or not the Trump administration had the precise to take such steps.
Instead, they weakly challenged the precise of San Francisco and Santa Clara County to struggle the order as a result of neither had been formally declared “sanctuary jurisdictions” — a phrase that is still obscure within the regulation.
The judge stated the important thing subject remained Trump’s repeated statements that funding is a “weapon” to make use of in opposition to cities that resist his insurance policies. That demonstrates the federal government’s intent, he stated, and is unconstitutional.
“The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the president, so the order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds,” he stated.
Dave Cortese, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, stated in a press release the choice had dealt a “major setback” to the politics of worry.
“Millions of people across the country can continue to receive essential medical care, go to school and remain active members of their communities without fear that their local governments are being forced to work against them, rather than for them,” he added.
The choice was being intently watched in Seattle, which filed its personal lawsuit in opposition to the order in March.
Ed Murray, mayor of the northwestern metropolis of virtually 700,000, issued a press release welcoming the ruling as “yet another rebuke” of Trump’s “dangerous overreach.”
New York mayor Bill de Blasio denounced Trump’s “illogical and unconstitutional desire to scapegoat immigrants” whereas Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel vowed his administration wouldn’t “sit idly by while President Trump threatens American cities because he doesn’t share our values.”
Reform ‘long overdue’
California lawyer basic Xavier Becerra stated the president was making an attempt to “hijack crucial resources, sow fear among California families and make our communities less safe.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions lashed out at sanctuary cities on Friday final week accusing them of permitting unlawful immigrants who’re violent criminals to go free.
Orrick’s ruling nonetheless permits the Department of Justice to observe by with threats made to 9 cities final week — together with Chicago, New Orleans and Philadelphia — to chop particular program grants if the cities didn’t adequately cooperate with federal immigration officers.
A gathering in Washington on Tuesday between a gaggle of major-city mayors and Sessions demonstrated that the 2 sides stay at odds over Trump’s election promise to expel some 11.three million immigrants with out authorized residency.
The mayors stated federal coverage stays unclear and inconsistent, and complained the federal government is telling them to deploy native regulation enforcement officers to implement federal immigration legal guidelines.
“None of this discussion would be necessary if Congress and the president would enact comprehensive immigration reform, which is long overdue,” stated New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.