The Associated Press is reporting that Donald Trump’s plans to prevent federal funding to cities that protect immigrants, often called “sanctuary cities,” has been blocked by a federal judge.
BREAKING: US judge blocks Trump order to cut off funding to cities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities.
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 25, 2017
The ruling comes from U.S. District Judge William Orrick out of San Francisco. It places a temporary block on the executive order while a lawsuit pertaining to its legality runs through the courts.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a proponent of the order limiting grants to communities that failed to comply with the government’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants. “Failure to remedy violations could result in withholding grants, termination of grants and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants,” he said.
The initial executive order was signed by Trump back in January, and it’s not the first executive order made by Trump to have been blocked by a federal court. Two of Trump’s orders banning Muslims from entering the U.S. have similarly been struck down after failing to pass muster on being Constitutional.
In explaining his temporary order blocking enforcement of the sanctuary cities executive order, Judge Orrick said, “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.”
Sanctuary cities are communities which have determined that they will not require local law enforcement to alert federal officials if they arrest or otherwise interact with undocumented immigrants in their daily duties. The idea behind sanctuary cities is that it encourages immigrants to come forward and help local law enforcement agencies rather than hide from them for fear of deportation.
Trump’s executive order threatened cities that had such policies with restriction of federal funding. However, it’s unclear to what extent his order would have worked. Mere hours before the ruling was made, Attorney General Sessions had ended a meeting with mayors from across the country where he had assured them the definition of “sanctuary city” would be narrowed in order to ensure the order would have a negligible effect on most jurisdictions.