San Francisco Judge Blocks Trump's Sanctuary City Order

Yolanda Curtis
November 23, 2017

Trump's order said such jurisdictions "are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes".

President Trump's threat to strip billions of dollars in federal funding from cities and counties that refuse to fully cooperate with immigration officers is unconstitutional, according to a new ruling from a federal judge in San Francisco.

Section 9 (a) of Trump's executive order sought to withhold funds from sanctuary jurisdictions that "willfully refuse to comply" with 8 U.S. Code § 1373, which forbids restricting government employees from sharing a person's immigration status with immigration authorities.


Judge William Orrick ruled against the federal government, writing that the executive order was "unconstitutionally broad" in its effect and evidently coercive. "This order plows no new ground", Orrick wrote - although this injunction, unlike the previous ones, is permanent.

A lawyer for the DOJ argued during a hearing before Orrick in April that the executive order applied to only a few grants that would affect less than $1 million for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco.

"The Counties have demonstrated that the Executive Order has caused and will cause them constitutional injuries by violating the separation of powers doctrine and depriving them of their Tenth and Fifth Amendment rights", Orrick wrote in his order. "This executive order was unconstitutional before the ink on it was even dry".


Orrick's ruling came in lawsuits brought by two California counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara.

Department of Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley responded in a statement, saying, "The District Court exceeded its authority today when it barred the President from instructing his cabinet members to enforce existing law".

Proponents of sanctuary cities celebrated Monday's ruling, while opponents remain incredulous that any part of the United States could defy federal immigration law under the protection of the courts. A San Jose immigration attorney is applauding the judge's decision. "We do not harbor criminals. If they think someone is risky, all they need is a criminal warrant". Sessions' statement accompanied a list 29 jurisdictions that the Justice Department says may be in violation of a statute that promotes immigration enforcement. "The Justice Department will vindicate the President's lawful authority to direct the executive branch".


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