A lawyer for the Trump Administration told a federal judge Friday that the executive order targeting “sanctuary cities” and counties would not result in loss of massive funds to governments that refuse to comply with immigration authorities.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera today released a statement after Judge William H. Orrick heard arguments in U.S. District Court on San Francisco’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the city’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities:
“President Trump tried to take a scorched-earth approach to immigration, and San Francisco stood up to him.San Francisco faced down this bully, and because others like Santa Clara County joined us, President Trump had to back down.”
Herrera’s office sued the president on January 31, calling the immigration executive order unconstitutional. From his statement:
“In today’s motion, San Francisco is seeking a nationwide prohibition on the Trump administration enforcing the section of the executive order that allows the federal government to withhold funding from ‘sanctuary jurisdictions.’ “
Alternatively, Herrera is asking the court to find that San Francisco complies with the law that the executive order, 8 U.S.C 1373, and could not have federal funds stripped from it on that basis.
“The Trump administration tried to hold a gun to the head of local governments across this country saying, ‘We’re going to pull the trigger unless you break the law.’ San Francisco is not going to lock people up illegally, even at the federal government’s direction,” the statement read.
The statement from Trump’s attorneys revels that the government will not be able to follow through with its threat to cut off massive federal funding from cities that do not comply with immigration authorities.
“The president’s lawyer also was forced to admit that only a tiny fraction of federal grants can potentially be withheld from local governments under the president’s executive order on sanctuary cities” Herrera said.
A court order will bring more clarity on whether local governments can be penalized. Statements made by Trump suggested his government would stop all federal funding from sanctuary jurisdictions — aclaim that appears to be no longer relevant after lawyer told court the executive order is “narrow.”
“The president and his attorney general may be trying to use the bully pulpit to pressure cities and counties, but in court we’re showing they’re no more than just bullies,” Herrera said.
The court heard arguments in both San Francisco’s motion and a similar motion brought by Santa Clara County in a separate case. The court is expected to issue a written ruling in the future.