Recently a California judge -- once again - defied the President of the United States by upholding a restraining order for sanctuary cities and making sure that the feds can't impose monetary penalties for their illegal-alien friendly actions. The feds wanted to dissuade cities from not fully cooperating with immigration authorities by slashing funds. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick, however, found the federal government's argument to be unconvincing.
Fox News has the latest:
The U.S. Department of Justice had asked U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick to reverse his own injunction in April against Trump's executive order. The injunction was issued in response to lawsuits by San Francisco and Santa Clara County in California.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote a memo in May saying the executive order should be applied narrowly to a small number of grants and to very specific violations of immigration law. The memo said cities that "willfully refuse to comply" with federal law could lose grants from the Justice and Homeland Security departments, but not other federal funding.
The Justice Department said the memo negated the need for Orrick's injunction.
Orrick said he found Sessions' memo unconvincing, asserting it would allow the attorney general to reverse his stand at any moment.
The judge's injunction stops enforcement of the executive order across the country, and allows the lawsuits to go forward.
And Orrick's refusal to reverse it strikes another blow to Trump's attempt to punish cities that give safe haven to those in the country illegally.
On Friday, Sessions is scheduled to visit Philadelphia, where officials have said its local law enforcement will not act as immigration agents — a stance Sessions has challenged as unconstitutional.
During a speech to law enforcement officials in Las Vegas, Sessions recently singled out Philadelphia, saying the City of Brotherly Love is "advertising" its policy and "protecting criminals."
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, however, doesn't seem willing to back down. Acting ICE director Thomas Homan told The Washington Examiner he believes New York and San Francisco are “ludicrous” in their defiance of the President and will simply send more agents there. If the city officials won't do it, ICE is more than happy to pick up the slack.
ICE currently has more than 20,000 employees in 400 offices across the country as well as agents in 46 countries. It has an operating budget of about $6 billion. Adding another 10,000 employees, as President Trump has indicated he wants, will cost millions.
For example, in fiscal 2017, ICE requested $6.6 million to hire 100 new officers.
An ICE spokesperson told Fox News there is no specific operational plan or timetable in place yet but that the agency will focus new resources that come their way on places that don’t cooperate with detainer requests.
"As Director Homan stated, uncooperative jurisdictions have a higher rate of criminal alien releases than in places that honor ICE detainers,” the ICE official told Fox News. “As a result, ICE is forced to focus additional resources to conduct at-large arrests in the field in these non-cooperative areas."
It's great that the cities won't be getting away as scot-free as they'd hoped. As Stephen Green wrote over at Instapundit, "Legalized lawlessness never ends well."
Image Credit: By U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Department of Homeland Security) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons