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Federal Judge blocks Trump's crackdown on sanctuary cities

The county argued it was owed millions of dollars of federal funding every day and that its budgetary planning process had been thrown into disarray by the order.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued a preliminary injunction in a pair of lawsuits filed by the city of San Francisco and Santa Clara County. It said, "San Francisco, and cities like it, are putting the well-being of criminal aliens before the safety of our citizens, and those city officials who authored these policies have the blood of dead Americans on their hands". It's yet another blow to the Trump Administration and its first-100-days agenda, and the third time that members of the federal judiciary have struck down an executive order that the president signed.

In the end, Orrick determined that "Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement can not be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves".

"Our city's history going back 400 years and the success and vibrancy we enjoy today has depended on it, and those are the values that won in court today", the mayor said. "All the usual things that budgets do - we weren't able to do that with any certainty until this threat which was having over us was clarified".

A spokesman for the Justice Department said the ruling does not prevent the administration from enforcing conditions on some grants related to immigration matters.




City ordinances prohibit San Francisco police from giving immigration authorities advance notice of an inmate's release from jail, even if the police know that ICE wants to detain that person. At a hearing earlier this month, attorneys for the Justice Department offered a far narrower interpretation of the order than Trump, saying it would only apply to jurisdictions that refuse to share citizenship information as required by law, and that it would apply to only three federal grants from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security that require compliance as a pre-condition.

The Justice Department threatened last week to cut some funding to California as well as eight cities and counties across the United States. They argued that the president's January 25th executive order, declaring sanctuary cities ineligible to receive federal grants, was unconstitutional.

"We're fighting for the United States Constitution, and we succeeded after the Trump administration tried to do an end run around it", Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez said in the statement. "And if there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments".

The federal government said, according to the decision written by Judge William H. Orrick, that the executive order "is merely an exercise of the President's "bully pulpit" to highlight a changed approach to immigration enforcement". A previous executive order, which barred travel from several majority-Muslim countries, also was rejected by a federal court as unconstitutional-as was a second, similar but more limited executive order.

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