A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District Court of California [official website] agreed Tuesday to reconsider his ruling [opinion, PDF] blocking President Donald Trump’s executive order that cuts funding from so-called “sanctuary cities.” In his opinion, San Fransisco-based Judge William Orrick [official website] stated, “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.” Orrick accepted a request from the Trump administration after Attorney General Jeff Sessions [website] issued a memo [text, PDF] that outlined how sanctuary cities could lose their funding. Only cities that “willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 [LII materials]” will lose financial support from the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security [official websites], according to the memo. The Justice Department, which issued a proposed budget [text, PDF] that seeks to require law enforcement to comply with federal immigration detainers, argued that Orrick’s reasoning no longer applies and that his judgment should be reconsidered.
Since the election of Trump, some states and cities have proposed legislation to crackdown on sanctuary policies while some cities continue to stand behind their policies [JURIST op-ed]. Earlier this month the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] to challenge a recently passed bill, SB4 [text, PDF], that they claim unlawfully targets immigrants and defunds sanctuary cities. In April the Texas House of Representatives [official website] approved SB4. In March the Mississippi Senate approved a bill [JURIST report] to prohibit local sanctuary immigration policies. In February, the Alabama House approved [JURIST report] a bill to block funding for sanctuary universities. Earlier in February San Francisco filed the lawsuit against the Trump administration over an executive order that would cut federal funding [JURIST report] from sanctuary cities. In January, the New York Attorney General proposed model language [JURIST report] for immigration laws and policies in sanctuary cities.