Judge Blocks Trump's Executive Order Threatening Sanctuary Cities


A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked an executive order by Donald Trump which threatened to cut off funds to sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities.

Judge William Orrick of the Northern District for California in San Francisco blocked Section 9(a) of Trump’s January 25 executive order.


That section reads:

In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction. The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.

8 U.S.C. 1373 is the section of the United States Code which deals with how law enforcement on local, state and federal levels work together on immigration.

In the court’s ruling, Orrick wrote that while the injunction was being granted, “this injunction does nothing more than implement the effect of the Government’s flawed interpretation of the Order.”


As the Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky noted, the injunction essentially maintains the the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security’s ability to identify sanctuary cities, and withhold certain grants, but prevents the order from being exercised “in a way that violates the constitution.”


The injunction appeared to rest on whether the President’s executive order can alter the way federal funds are spent. Orrick placed that power firmly within the congressional, rather than presidential hands.


The decision came after Trump specifically touted the executive order in a splashy page on the official White House website marking his first 100 days in office.


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Rafi Schwartz

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.