The federal appeal court in the 9th Circuit ruled this week that President Trump’s executive order to cut funding from sanctuary cities is unconstitutional.
San Francisco and Santa Clara counties in California sued the Trump administration over the policy. Santa Clara County said that $1.7 billion in federal money was in jeopardy under Trump’s executive order, meanwhile San Francisco cited $1.2 billion.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said of the decision: “The only way to stop a bully is to stand up to him. Sanctuary policies make our city safer by encouraging anyone who has been a victim or witness to a crime to tell police” without fear of being deported.
Trump signed the executive order in January 2017, right after he took office, calling undocumented immigration a “clear and present danger” to national security.
He tweeted his racist feelings about sanctuary cities back in April, citing them as “crime infested” and places of “breeding.”
Also in an interview Trump had in February with Bill O’Reilly, he stated: “I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. If we have to defund, we give tremendous amounts of money to California … California in many ways is out of control.”
The executive orders of the president attacked restriction of sharing immigration or citizenship status information with government officials, and went after federal grants for sanctuary cities. In late July, a Chicago- based federal judge said it was unconstitutional to withhold grants from cities to force cooperation with ICE.
The administration has sued California over three laws that protect immigrants in the country illegally.
Judges Sidney Thomas and Ronald Gould, in a 2-1 vote, said Trump declared those who didn’t comply with administration’s interpretation of immigration law were “not eligible to receive federal grants,” except if they were necessary for law enforcement purposes. Chief Judge Thomas also cited a White House press release that said Trump had issued an order “halting federal funding for sanctuary cities.”
The judges maintained the spending of funds is to be handled by Congress, not Trump.
The DOJ’s response to the decision:
“Today’s divided Ninth Circuit opinion is a victory for criminal aliens in California, who can continue to commit crimes knowing that the state’s leadership will protect them from federal immigration officers whose job it is to hold them accountable and remove them from the country,” DOJ spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement.
But Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, said it’s a win for humanity.
“Today’s decision marks yet another win for California’s values of equality, compassion, and shared humanity – and yet another defeat for the president’s hate-riddled agenda,” said Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center.