By: Zack Duvall
San Francisco U.S District Judge, William Orrick III, said on Wednesday that he was “very inclined” to maintain a court order that blocks an effort by the Justice Department to cut federal funding for cities and jurisdictions that have taken part in the ‘sanctuary’ movement to provide safe haven for illegal immigrants.
The Trump administration had issued an executive order in April that had originally come under fire by critics for being too over reaching in the amount of funding that it had aimed to cut. Critics said that federal authorities had no right to cut funds that had been promised to districts by previous contracts and agreements already in progress. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, then released a memo clarifying the action by the Justice Department pertained to any new federal funding and grants directly related to law enforcement in the jurisdictions that are designated as ‘sanctuaries’ for people in the country illegally.
Elected officials in numerous cities and counties around the country, to include New York and Los Angeles, have been vocal opponents to the White House’s plan to crack down on illegal immigration and the jurisdictions that harbor them, and refuse to use municipal funds and resources to enforce federal immigration law or share information with federal agencies.
However, supporters of the Trump administration efforts say that officials who fail to enforce federal law are putting American citizens and families at risk, and cite cases such as Kate Steinly, a California woman shot in the head by a man here illegally, and the recent rape of a 15 year old Maryland high school student by two illegal immigrants as evidence.
Despite the threat of withholding federal funds, multiple municipalities have joined the new legal fight against the Justice Department, to include Santa Clara County in California, which includes a small section of Silicon- Valley and the city of San Jose, as well as San Francisco.
U.S. District Judge Orrick III, during the Wednesday hearing, also doubled down on his April comments that he believed the move by the Justice Department would be overturned on the grounds of being unconstitutional and “against federal law and procedure”.
The Justice Department is expected to file an appeal later in the month.