On the eve of President Trump’s 100th day in office, he is desperately searching for a win of any kind to hang his hat on. Unfortunately for him, he won’t be able to claim any victories in his efforts to punish “sanctuary” cities.
Federal District Court Judge William Orrick issued an injunction on behalf of San Francisco and Santa Clara County, ruling that it was unconstitutional for the Trump administration to withhold federal funds from cities who refused to crack down and persecute their illegal immigrant populations.
“The Constitution vests the spending power in Congress, not the President” ruled Judge Orrick. “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,”
Trump’s executive order, entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” was signed on January 25th and threatened to withhold funding from American cities unless they reversed “sanctuary city” policies designed to protect illegal immigrants, such as prohibiting city employees and police units from asking a person’s immigration status and banning police “from giving immigration authorities advance notice of an inmate’s release from jail, even if the police know that ICE wants to detain that person.”
Trump’s effort to persecute and deport illegal immigrants is quite obviously a “soft” ethnic cleansing strategy designed to reduce the immigrant population in the United States and dissuade others from coming in a flagrant rejection of the values of pluralism our nation was founded on and the ideal of the American Dream that drew our forefathers to this land.
With his executive order banning Muslims from entering the United States already dead in the courts and Trump’s efforts to secure funding for his border wall similarly dead on arrival, the death of his “sanctuary cities” order represents yet another failure for Trump that he cannot afford right now.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.