WASHINGTON, D.C. — In yet another blow to president Trump’s plan for immigration reform, a California judge has blocked a Trump administration order to withhold federal funding from cities who refuse to comply with U.S. immigration authorities.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the temporary ruling on Tuesday in a lawsuit over the executive order which targeted sanctuary cities for restriction of funds. Two California districts, San Francisco and Santa Clara County, filed suit to have the order struck down.
“It’s not like it’s just some small amount of money,” John Keker, an attorney for Santa Clara County, told Orrick at the April 14 hearing.
The decision will stay in place as the lawsuit makes its way through the judicial process.
In his ruling, Orrick sided with the plaintiffs in the case, saying the order “by its plain language, attempts to reach all federal grants, not merely the three mentioned at the hearing.”
“The rest of the order is broader still, addressing all federal funding. And if there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick said.
“Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves,” the judge added.
The order also has led to similar lawsuits being filed by the city of Seattle; two Massachusetts cities, Lawrence and Chelsea; and a third San Francisco area district, the city of Richmond.
The ruling is the latest blow to president Trump’s attempt to secure the border via executive action.
Earlier this year, the president issued Executive Order 13769, which attempted to restrict the number of refugees coming into the U.S. from terror hot spots around the world. Despite a lengthy battle, that order was also struck down by the Sixth Circuit court.