Northern District of California Judge William Orrick enjoined the Trump Administration from withholding most federal funds from sanctuary cities that restrict cooperation with ICE. The ruling may be appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
San Francisco and Santa Clara County, California brought the lawsuit arguing the executive order threatened billions of dollars in federal funding and made it difficult to plan their budgets. Acting assistant Attorney General Chad Readler told the court the sanctions only applied to three Justice Department and Homeland Security Department grants. Santa Clara County might lose less than $1 million and San Francisco might be unaffected, Readler said.
Judge Orrick ruled a temporary injunction was necessary because the order "by its plain language, attempts to reach all federal grants, not merely the three mentioned at the hearing…The rest of the order is broader still, addressing all federal funding…And if there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments…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."
However, Judge Orrick also said, “This injunction does not impact the Government’s ability to use lawful means to enforce existing conditions of federal grants or 8 U.S.C. 1373 [the anti-sanctuary law], nor does it restrict the Secretary from developing regulations or preparing guidance on designating a jurisdiction as a “sanctuary jurisdiction.”
In response to the ruling, the Justice Department said, "The Court upheld the ‘Government’s ability to use lawful means to enforce existing conditions of federal grants or 8 U.S.C. 1373…The Department of Justice previously stated to the Court, and reiterates now, that it will follow the law with respect to regulation of sanctuary jurisdictions. Accordingly, the Department will continue to enforce existing grant conditions and will continue to enforce 8 U.S.C. 1373. Further, the order does not purport to enjoin the Department’s independent legal authority to enforce the requirements of federal law applicable to communities that violate federal immigration law or federal grant conditions." The White House also issued a statement calling the ruling "one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge."
The injunction will remain in place while the judge hears the merits of the case.
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Updated: Tue, May 9th 2017 @ 5:20pm EDT