Trump can't put conditions on funds over sanctuary city policy, federal judge rules

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) A U.S. District judge in San Francisco today ruled that the city's Sanctuary City policies, challenged by the administration of President Donald Trump, complies with federal law.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a lawsuit last year, along with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, after the president threatened to deny San Francisco law enforcement more than $1.4 million in grants for the 2017 fiscal year.

"Congress has the power of the purse, not the president," Herrera said in a statement. "The Trump administration attacks immigrants and claims to be fighting crime but then seeks to take away money for police, prosecutors and courts. That makes zero sense.

"We're pleased the court has recognized that San Francisco's sanctuary laws and policies comply with federal law. Not only that, the court found that the federal law that the Trump administration has been trying to use as a hammer against communities is itself unconstitutional," he said.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, in a statement, said, "San Francisco will always be a sanctuary city that stands up for our immigrant communities. The court ruling today validates what we already knew--the Trump Administration's attempt to bully San Francisco into abandoning our values 
and complying with unfair, unjust immigration enforcement laws is unconstitutional."

The ruling was issued by Judge William H. Orrick.

The funds in question are from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, created by Congress and awarded annually.

Because the ruling only covers funds for the 2017 fiscal year, which have not been disbursed, Herrera filed a separate case in August over conditions being placed on the grants for the 2018 fiscal year.