Yet another federal judge has found that the Trump administration’s attempts to strong-arm state and local governments into being as hostile to immigrants as possible is illegal.
U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos of the Southern District of New York ruled on Friday that that the executive order signed by President Donald Trump last January, which withheld funding from sanctuary cities, was both illegal and unconstitutional. Ramos agreed with the states that the order was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires courts to “hold unlawful and set aside agency action . . . found to be. . . in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right,” per Ramos’ ruling.
The ruling falls in line with a number of recent court decisions shooting down Republican actions against asylum-seekers and sanctuary cities, as does Ramos’ decision to single out Section 1373 of the U.S. immigration code—like a California judge ruled in October, Ramos found that section, which requires of information-sharing between the federal government and sanctuary cities, was a violation of the Tenth Amendment.
What sets Ramos’ decision apart from the previous sanctuary city cases in California is that his will affect a wide swath of states up and down the East Coast—per the Providence Journal, cities in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Washington D.C., and Virginia will all now be legally allowed to function as havens for asylum-seekers, so long as their own state governments allow them to.
As has been pointed out before, while some cities under Democratic control have fought to maintain this legal status, their actual commitment to protecting undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers has fallen flat time and again, with police departments (including those in New York City) routinely working with ICE and federal agencies to detain and deport community members.
As far as Trump’s larger war on migrants and refugees goes, however, this is undoubtedly good news.