Date
28 July 2017
Immigrant supporters protest during a Los Angeles City Council meeting in March to discuss the city's response to threats by the Trump administration to cut funding to jurisdictions that allegedly provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants. Photo: Reute
Immigrant supporters protest during a Los Angeles City Council meeting in March to discuss the city's response to threats by the Trump administration to cut funding to jurisdictions that allegedly provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants. Photo: Reute

US judge blocks Trump order to cut funding to ‘sanctuary cities’

A judge in San Francisco has blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order that sought to withhold funds from cities that limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

In a ruling Tuesday, US District Judge William Orrick III issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the Trump administration’s efforts to cut federal funding to the so-called sanctuary cities, Reuters reports.

Trump had in a Jan. 25 order targeted broad categories of federal funding for sanctuary governments, prompting legal advocacy groups and some Democratic city and state governments to oppose the move in court.

Sanctuary cities generally offer safe harbor to illegal immigrants and often do not use municipal funds or resources to advance the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Dozens of local governments and cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, have joined the growing “sanctuary” movement.

Supporters of the sanctuary policy argue that enlisting police cooperation in rounding up immigrants for removal undermines communities’ trust in local police, particularly among Latinos.

The Trump administration contends that local authorities endanger public safety when they decline to hand over for deportation illegal immigrants arrested for crimes.

The executive order by Trump, who made cracking down on illegal immigration a cornerstone of his 2016 presidential campaign, directed such funding to be restricted once the Homeland Security Department determines what constitutes a sanctuary city.

Santa Clara County, which includes the city of San Jose and several smaller Silicon Valley communities, sued in February, saying Trump’s order was unconstitutional. San Francisco filed a similar lawsuit.

In his ruling Tuesday, judge Orrick said the language of Trump’s order made it clear it sought to withhold funds beyond law enforcement.

“And if there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote.

The judge cited comments from Trump calling the order “a weapon” to use against jurisdictions that disagree with his immigration policies.

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RC

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