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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 28, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 17
Trump can't punish sanctuary cities, judge says
Section One
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Trump can't punish sanctuary cities, judge says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A federal judge ruled on April 25 that the Trump administration cannot punish sanctuary cities by cutting off their funding.

US District Judge William Orrick said that the power to distribute federal money is 'exclusive to Congress' and that the president may not usurp that power. Consequently, Orrick ruled, Trump's January 25 executive order depriving sanctuary cities of federal money violates the Fifth and Tenth Amendments.

San Francisco and Santa Clara Counties - two California jurisdictions that sued to prevent Trump's order from going forward - were likely to succeed on the merits of their suit when the case comes to trial in May, Orrick said.

'These constitutional violations are not limited to San Francisco or Santa Clara but apply equally to all states and local jurisdictions,' Orrick continued, and he issued an injunction blocking the administration from implementing Trump's orders.

Seattle has its own lawsuit pending against the Trump order, and soon after Orrick handed down his decision, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued a statement welcoming the ruling.

'This court ruling preventing President Trump from punishing 'sanctuary cities' is yet another rebuke of his misguided agenda,' Murray said.

'Once again, a federal judge has blocked President Trump's dangerous overreach. While we review this ruling's impact on our city's lawsuit against the president's order, we will continue to embrace all our residents, because we know Trump's attacks on 'sanctuary cities' are attacks on Constitutional Cities.'

Seattle-area congresswoman Pramila Jayapal also released the following statement in response to the judge's injunction.

'This is another victory for democracy and inclusion,' she said on April 25.

'Whether it's his Muslim ban or threats to sanctuary cities, it seems President Trump's attempts to institutionalize xenophobia cannot pass constitutional muster. Judge William Orrick ruled the Trump administration's order could cause 'immediate irreparable harm' and legal challenges of the order are likely to succeed. As a leader in establishing Seattle's sanctuary policies over 14 years ago, this ruling is a huge validation of our work to protect immigrant rights, public safety, and our Constitution.

'The facts are that sanctuary cities are safer than non-sanctuaries because sanctuary policies allow local police to maintain trust and working relationships with immigrant communities. The president should learn to respect co-equal branches of government, stop overreaching, and cease pursuing policies based on odious and ill-informed views of immigrants.'

In one of his now-infamous tweets, Trump reacted with outrage. 'See you at the Supreme Court!' he threatened. The case may, indeed, end up before the high court, but first it is likely to come to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals if Orrick is not persuaded to change his mind at the upcoming trial.

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