Trump Gets a Hard No on Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities

After 2 Calif. counties sue, a federal judge permanently blocks executive order
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2017 10:55 AM CST
Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities
In this Aug. 14, 2017, file photo, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, right, shakes hands with San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. They announced a lawsuit against the Department of Justice over President Trump's sanctuary city restrictions on public safety grants.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked President Trump's executive order to cut funding from so-called sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with US immigration authorities. US District Court Judge William Orrick rejected the administration's argument that the order affects a relatively small pot of money, reports the AP, and said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress. The judge had made the same arguments in a ruling that put a temporary hold on the executive order; the Trump administration has appealed that decision to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. "The District Court exceeded its authority today when it barred the President from instructing his Cabinet members to enforce existing law," Department of Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley said Monday.

Orrick's ruling came after lawsuits brought by two California counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara. SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera said the ruling was "a victory for the American people and the rule of law." "President Trump might be able to tweet whatever comes to mind, but he can't grant himself new authority because he feels like it," he said. A DOJ lawyer argued before Orrick in April that the order applied to a few grants that would affect less than $1 million for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco. The judge disagreed, ruling that the order was written broadly to "reach all federal grants" and potentially jeopardized hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. He cited comments by Trump and AG Jeff Sessions as evidence that the order was intended to target a wide array of federal funding, noting Trump himself had called it a "weapon" against recalcitrant cities.

(More sanctuary cities stories.)

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