US judge blocks Trump's sanctuary cities order

US District Judge William Orrick says executive order unconstitutional, lawsuits likely to succeed

US judge blocks Trump's sanctuary cities order

World Bulletin / News Desk

 A judge in San Francisco, California blocked Tuesday President Donald Trump's effort to defund localities that limit cooperation with federal immigration officers.

The Trump administration had sought to freeze federal grants to "sanctuary cities", but U.S. District Judge William Orrick said in his ruling that "the threat is unconstitutionally coercive".

While state and local law enforcement can opt to participate in federal immigration operations, they are not obligated to do so. 

"The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds," Orrick wrote in his ruling.

"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," he added.

The lawsuits alleged that Trump's order has caused budgetary uncertainty, which Orrick ruled is causing the jurisdictions "irreparable harm".

San Francisco and Santa Clara County's lawsuits are likely to succeed, the judge wrote as he granted a preliminary nationwide injunction halting Trump's order. 

Responding to an Anadolu Agency request for comment the Justice Department said "it will follow the law with respect to regulation of sanctuary jurisdictions".

"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," spokesman Ian Prior said. 

Over 150 jurisdictions across the U.S. can be classified to some extent as being a sanctuary city. The Trump administration has argued that such localities offer safe haven to criminals who pose threats to public safety, and should be deported. 

But San Francisco, and cities like it, have maintained that mandating local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws could damage community trust and result in fewer crimes being reported.

Last Mod: 26 Nisan 2017, 08:11
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