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“Sanctuary City” Executive Order Blocked by Judge
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Summary: A California judge placed a block on the executive order threatening “sanctuary cities,” citing it may be unconstitutional.

Another one of Trump’s attempts to lay down new rules as been blocked by a judge. A federal judge in California blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a punishment on “sanctuary cities.” Judge William H. Orrick ruled on the side of Santa Clara County, San Francisco, and other jurisdictions arguing against the threat by the president to withhold federal funding from cities that do not enforce immigration laws. The judge found the threat to possibly be unconstitutional.


Trump had ordered the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department to cut off cities that do not comply with federal immigration enforcement from receiving federal funds. Orrick believed the order, although not unconstitutional in itself, could place “immediate irreparable harm” on to counties and cities that disobeyed the immigration policy, as proven by those challenging the policy.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus vowed to appeal the ruling, “It’s the 9th Circuit going bananas,” in reference to the appellate court that the administration has already faced and will now have to face again.

Priebus described the block as “forum shopping,” in that it is ridiculous to prevent the administration from placing a “reasonable restriction on how this money is spent.” The Justice Department will continue to enforce grant requirements in relation to cooperating with laws. Spokesman Ian Prior explained, “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.”

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A White House statement said, “Today’s ruling undermines faith in our legal system and raises serious questions about circuit shopping. But we are confident we will ultimately prevail in the Supreme Court, just as we will prevail in our lawful effort to impose immigration restrictions necessary to keep terrorists out of the United States.”

The judge’s order only blocks the government from withholding federal funds from going to the cities, it does not block the government from enforcing conditions on federal grants or from the government creating a definition of sanctuary jurisdictions. Orrick wrote, “The Counties have demonstrated that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their challenge to Section 9(a) of the Executive Order, that they will suffer irreparable harm absent in injunction, and that the balance of harms and public interest weigh in their favor.”

The executive order was issued three months ago but an actual definition of what constitutes a “sanctuary jurisdiction” has not been given. It was also unclear which funds would be taken away. The order notes one small piece of law – the requirement of jurisdictions to report a person’s citizenship status to the federal government. The Justice Department said in a hearing earlier this months that the funds withholding would be for jurisdictions that refuse to share citizenship information, which is required by the law. The funds affected by this refusal were three federal grants that require compliance as a pre-condition from the Department of Justice and Homeland Security.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer explained, “You can’t be a sanctuary city and at the same time seem to pretend or express concern about law enforcement or ask for more money when probably a number of the funds that you’re using in the first place are going to law enforcement to handle the situation you’ve created for yourself.”

Do you think the federal government should be able to withhold funds from those that don’t comply with the laws? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about Trump’s attempts to change the rules, read these articles:



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