Federal judge in San Francisco refuses to reinstate Trump sanctuary cities order

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal judge has refused to reinstate President Donald Trump's executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.

U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick in San Francisco made the ruling Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Justice had asked Orrick to reverse his own injunction in April against Trump's executive order. The injunction was issued in response to lawsuits by San Francisco and Santa Clara County. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote a memo in May saying the executive order should be applied narrowly to a small number of grants and to very specific violations of immigration law.

The Justice Department said the memo negated the need for Orrick's injunction.

Orrick said he found this unconvincing because Sessions could reverse himself at any moment.

“Once again, the District Court has sent a message to President Trump that he cannot use the threat of withholding funds to coerce local governments into becoming federal immigration operatives—an unconstitutional effort that puts at risk vital services for millions of people across the country,” said Dave Cortese, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “We are eager and prepared to pursue the lawsuit on behalf of Santa Clara County residents and communities across the country until the Executive Order is permanently struck down.”

Santa Clara County was the first jurisdiction in the country to seek emergency relief from the executive order. 

The County of San Francisco and City of Richmond sought similar injunctions shortly afterward. 

“Today’s decision strongly reaffirms that President Trump’s ‘Sanctuary Jurisdiction’ Executive Order is unconstitutional at its very core,” said Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams. “We are delighted with the Court’s well-reasoned and thoughtful decision.” 

To see Santa Clara's court filings, you can check them out here.


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