In a bit of a surprise decision, U.S. District Judge William Orrick, who was appointed by former President Obama, ruled against the city of Richmond, California which was trying to stop the Trump administration from carrying out an executive order on sanctuary cities. The judge’s reasoning for dismissing the case — the city isn’t enough of a “priority”:
“Richmond has not actually refused to cooperate or assist ICE, has not declined to honor any detainer requests, and has not otherwise hindered the enforcement of federal immigration law. Given that Richmond’s policies have, apparently, had no practical effect on ICE’s immigration enforcement efforts, it is hard to imagine that Richmond is a high priority for the federal government’s efforts to discourage ‘sanctuary policies.”
Richmond filed federal suit against the Trump administration in March after Trump signed an executive order that withholds federal grants from sanctuary cities (which don’t cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement). According to LawNewz, Richmond took in $77 million in federal grant money this fiscal year and used a lot of that money toward police and housing to serve its large Hispanic community. At the time, lead attorney Joe Cotchett said the suit was filed for every small city in the country.
Judge Orrick’s dismissal said that since ICE had never the city for help in enforcing a immigration laws, and just because the city has a large Hispanic population doesn’t mean it “is likely to subject it to defunding under the Executive Order.”
The city has 20 days to re-file the lawsuit.