Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions are probably tossing their shoes at the ceiling right now, for the president has received his latest serving of immigration-related comeuppance (while his revised travel ban is still blocked indefinitely by a Hawaii judge). Both Trump and his attorney general have been on a quest to crush sanctuary cities, within which local police departments provide safe havens for undocumented immigrants from deportation. Sessions recently echoed Trump’s vision by threatening to remove Justice Department grants from these cities if they don’t voluntarily abandon their status.
In the applicable case (which is being celebrated by the ACLU), a federal judge in California has blocked the part of Trump’s order that calls for withholding funds for cities that don’t cooperate. As such, both San Francisco and Santa Clara County have received preliminary injunctions against the order. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick also barred Trump from enforcing his order on other sanctuary cities, and he ruled that Trump lacks the authority (as dictated by federal law) to extend such a funding directive.
The ruling’s conclusion declares that the Trump administration’s blockage of funds works “immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our republic.”
Here’s NBC News’ screencap of the relevant text:
Many sanctuary cities have called out Trump for claiming that he wants to Make America Safe Again, but in effect, his executive order would have had the opposite effect by specifically targeting Justice Department funding. In New York City, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill was furious about how Trump’s directive would have stripped vital counterterror-op funds, including those monies that now protect Trump Tower.