Federal Judge Decision is Welcome Blow to Unconstitutional Trump Administration Directive to Punish Sanctuary Cities

Elizabeth Beresford, elizabeth@elizabethbberesford.com, 917.648.0189

April 25, 2017

Contact: Elizabeth Beresford, elizabeth@elizabethbberesford.com, 917.648.0189

BREAKING: Federal Judge Decision is Welcome Blow to Unconstitutional Trump Administration Directive to Punish Sanctuary Cities
San Francisco and Santa Clara Counties Win Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Against Sanctuary Provision of Executive Order

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, in a major defeat to the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, a San Francisco judge granted a nationwide preliminary injunction of the January 2017 executive order provision threatening sanctuary jurisdictions with the loss of federal funding, effectively halting implementation. The case, brought by counties with robust policies limiting the involvement of local law enforcement in deportations, provides strong legal support for the countless jurisdictions across the country currently weighing decisions to adopt or strengthen similar policies.

Lena Graber, staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, issued the following statement: 

“We are heartened that the courts have again intervened to block another one of the Trump administration’s unconstitutional scare tactics. Threatening to harm American communities by withholding federal funds was an illegal threat to retaliate against local jurisdictions who want to handle their own policies and resources in a way that doesn’t satisfy Trump’s hateful anti-immigrant agenda. In a climate fueled by hate and scapegoating, sanctuary policies are not only an important moral obligation, they are also smart, effective, and entirely legal.”   

“As legal advocates, we will continue our work to remind President Trump that he simply cannot continue to exceed the limits of executive authority without accountability from the American people. As families continue to be torn apart every day by deportations, we strongly encourage jurisdictions to take further actions to protect their communities from the illegal and abusive behavior of federal immigration authorities.  The ILRC will continue to support this work and share models and resources across the country.”

Nearly 300 constitutional, immigration, administrative, and international law professors and scholars recently provided legal analysis also concluding this administration’s threat to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities is unconstitutional under the spending clause and Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Their analysis was echoed by the federal court’s decision today.

Research shows that sanctuary jurisdictions are safer and are better off economically than similarly situated, non-sanctuary jurisdictions. 

For more information, please read ILRC’s Searching for Sanctuary report with county-level analysis on sanctuary policies and their implications. This report is accompanied by a national interactive map of law enforcement participation in immigration enforcement. 

To interview a policy expert at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, please contact Elizabeth Beresford at elizabeth@elizabethbberesford.com


About the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC’s mission is to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. www.ilrc.org