Another Big Loss For Trump In Court: Depriving Sanctuary Cities of Funds Is Unconstitutional

On Wednesday, the country received great news about sanctuary cities – despite the Trump administration’s better efforts, the federal government cannot financially “punish” areas that decline to fully participate with immigration enforcement.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it is unconstitutional for the White House to threaten to pull money from cities that have decided not to cooperate with the aggressive deportation policies it has instituted.

Two out of the three judges considered the actions by the Trump White House unconstitutional since it’s Congress that is tasked with making spending decisions. Therefore, the Executive Branch is overstepping its power when it tries to stipulate which cities receive federal money.

This decision is in line with lower court decision on this subject. In April of 2017, a U.S. District Court found the White House’s approach problematic and forbid it from cutting off funds to sanctuary cities. Then in September, another federal judge concurred that the administration shouldn’t be able to deprive funds over this issue. This year, the Department of Justice unsuccessfully sued California to end laws that protected immigrants from some of the administration’s policies.

It’s understandable that many cities don’t want to be complicit in rounding up and removing their undocumented friends, neighbors and employees, many of whom have been pivotal members of their communities. Sanctuary cities have decided that a zero tolerance approach to immigration doesn’t improve the quality of life for their legal residents either.

To hear the Trump administration explain it, a forceful immigration policy is necessary to prevent crime and violence. It’s a dubious claim, given that undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crimes (they don’t want to come face to face with law enforcement, after all.) Trump officials contend that even one act by someone in the country illegally is too many, but by that same logic shouldn’t all tourists be banned from the U.S. after one commits a crime?

The court’s latest decision came with one setback: the judges did not feel this issue warranted an injunction throughout the entire country. Though they found sufficient reason to believe California was a “particular target” that deserved protection from the White House trying to withhold funds, it needed more proof that other states were at risk in the same way to apply the standard for the whole United States.

President Donald Trump made it easy for California to demonstrate itself a “target” based on an interview he did with Bill O’Reilly. “I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. If we have to defund, we give tremendous amounts of money to California…” Trump said, without completing this thought.

Fortunately, sanctuary cities have received a thumbs-up from the judicial branch to carry on with their resistance movement and keeping their communities intact. A loss in grant money may have forced some cities to reconsider their commitment to the cause, but now all signs point to staying the course. Even better, other cities may very well decide to declare themselves sanctuaries knowing that the federal government is limited in how they can retaliate.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

69 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thanks for posting.

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson7 months ago

Thank you.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E8 months ago

brian f
YOU voted for the Democrats AND Ms. Clinton but you don't seem very loyal or inclined to do anything about all these thing you WHINE about do you !!!
You source for the 1 billion immigrants flooding into the US ? And the population in total of the US is …….. ????

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Janis K
Janis K8 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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silja s
silja s8 months ago

common sense and kindness prevails.. thank goodness

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Leo C
Leo C8 months ago

Thank you for posting!

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John W
John W8 months ago

Thanks

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Brian F
Brian F8 months ago

The Democrats want to destroy the country, refusing to enforce badly needed immigration laws, and by allowing 1 billion illegal aliens to flood into the country.

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Joanna M
Joanna M8 months ago

So by that logic, how is it constitutional for a city not to obey state or federal law? Whether you agree with a law or not, you can't just do whatever you want, or there is no order in society.

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Jack Y
Jack Y8 months ago

thanks

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