A federal judge in California temporarily blocked President Trump’s executive order that sought to withhold funding from jurisdictions that do not comply with federal immigration enforcement.
The directive issued by judge William H. Orrick III of the United States District Court of Northern California prevents the Trump administration from trying to cut off federal funds to sanctuary jurisdictions.
Sanctuary cities are meant to be a safe harbor to undocumented immigrants, and in San Francisco’s case do not use municipal funds or resources to advance enforcement of federal immigration laws.
For years, San Francisco has argued that sanctuary policies help foster trust in local law enforcement among immigrant communities. Opponents, specifically the Trump administration, contend that local law enforcement endangers public safety by not complying with federal immigration authorities.
Ruling in favor of San Francisco and Santa Clara County, judge Orrick noted: “The Executive Order does not make clear what conduct might subject a state or local jurisdiction to defunding or enforcement action, making it impossible for jurisdictions to determine how to modify their conduct, if at all, to avoid the Order’s penalties.”
“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.”
San Francisco and Santa Clara counties argued that the administration warning threatened considerable funding putting critical government programs at risk. City Attorney Dennis Herrera said: “Because San Francisco took this President to court we have been able to protect billions of dollars that fund life-saving programs across this country. In San Francisco alone about two-billion dollars was at stake. Without it thousands of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents would have lost access to meals and medical care. Police, fire and ambulance services would have faced cuts, roads and public transportation would have fallen into disrepair.”
The detailed ruling states that the judge found Trump adminstration’s arguments not “legally plausible.”
“I hope this president learns from his litany of mistakes,” Herrera said.