Federal Judge Blocks President Trump’s Order to Withhold Funding from Sanctuary Cities

A federal judge has permanently blocked President Trump’s decree to withhold funding from jurisdictions that limit cooperation with immigration authorities. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick handed down the 28-page ruling on Monday in lawsuits filed by Santa Clara and San Francisco counties, saying the executive branch has no right to impose new conditions on money already authorized by Congress.

Orrick added: “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.”

Santa Clara County could have lost $1.7 billion in federal funds—more than a third of its yearly revenue—for services such as public safety, nutrition programs, as well as medical and mental health care.

“This is a historic victory, protecting residents of the county and jurisdictions across the nation from President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional abuse of power,” county Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese said in a press release. “Our county will continue to welcome and embrace all people, no matter how much this administration tries to threaten or divide us.”

County counsel James Williams called the order “a clear rebuke” of the Trump administration’s unlawful attempt to deputize local law enforcement into acting as federal immigration officers.

“[Monday’s] decision vindicates a core constitutional principle: that the president cannot use federal funds to threaten local governments,” Williams said.

Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley defended Trump’s executive order, which he signed during his first week in office.

“The district court exceeded its authority today when it barred the president from instructing his cabinet members to enforce existing law,” O’Malley said in a statement Monday. “The Justice Department will vindicate the president’s lawful authority to direct the executive branch.

The term “sanctuary city” broadly applies to local governments that refuse to fully collaborate with federal immigration enforcement. The non-cooperation policies, which vary from place to place, date back to a movement among churches in the 1980s to shelter Central Americans fleeing violence in their native countries. At the time, the federal government refused to grant them refugee status, which ignited a grassroots effort to protect them from deportation.

The idea eventually crystalized into local laws throughout the U.S., becoming especially popular in cities and regions with a diverse population of foreign-born residents—places like Silicon Valley.

In Santa Clara County, the policy prevents the Sheriff’s Department from holding undocumented immigrants beyond their court-set jail stay without a warrant. The county makes exceptions for undocumented immigrants with certain violent offenses.

However, the county does cooperate in other ways with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and related agencies, according to correspondence obtained earlier this year by San Jose Inside. The Sheriff’s Office and Probation Department alert these agencies to the whereabouts and release dates of undocumented immigrants as part of international or multi-jurisdictional investigations.

Hundreds of local governments throughout the nation have so-called sanctuary city policies, because the courts have repeatedly ruled that ICE detainer requests—absent a warrant—are unconstitutional.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra applauded Orrick’s ruling, calling it “another deserved blow” to the president’s unconstitutional overreach.

“The Trump administration executive order spitefully threatened to defund law enforcement agencies focused on public safety for all,” Becerra said, “including hard-working immigrant families. Congrats to San Francisco and Santa Clara.”

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Similar to the crowing that followed the lower court rulings that ignored the law and blocked the travel ban. Then as now, the law will ultimately prevail.

  2. Great, We are proud to live in a Third World Crime Zone inhabited by disease ridden homeless people.

        • Packing your racist brethren with the seed of your intolerance,you know the truth will set you free ! “Free at last,Free at last,Thank God almighty we are free at last” – Martin Luther King

      • “Why not leave.” Is that the advice you’d have given an African-American complaining about life in the Jim Crow south, or are you selective about revealing your inner jackass?

        • I’m selective about identifying the jackasses. But you guys are doing such a good job of it yourselves that I don’t have to. An African American in the Jim Crow South was dealing with the legacy of slavery, not whining about paper cuts like you guys. If you and Empty consider yourselves in the same position, then I have some more colorful epithets than “jackass” to describe you.

          • Check your reading comprehension. That you have an inner jackass implies nothing about others. But your confusion is not surprising, given you’ve apparently confused yourself into believing that a lament over the erosion of civility is somehow less legitimate than one based on an enduring unfairness.

            It is nothing short of amazing that, in response to Empty Gun’s complaint aimed at the negative impact of foreigners here illegally you show no hesitation in suggesting that he, a legal resident, leave (presumably to a place that meets the approval of totalitarians like yourself). Is your arrogance the product of nature, nurture, or both? As for your claim to an arsenal of colorful epithets, I have no doubt of your inventory given that, when tasked with defending lawbreaking in a nation of laws, epithets are the only available ammunition.

    • Empty are you drinking or off your meds again ? Do you contrive this stuff up all by yourself ? “Third World” ? Are you referring to the vast number of people of different cultures & ethnicities living in our community ? “Crime Zone” ? You obviously aren’t aware that San Jose has by far the lowest crime rate of any of the America’s ten largest cities. By comparison San Francisco’s crime rate is more than double San Jose’s & Oakland’s is over four times higher. ‘Disease ridden” ? Thanks for your diagnosis Dr. Gun,how many patients can you examine in an hour as you speed past them on the bus ? “Homeless People” ? Meaning poor downtrodden people,most of them white,some with mental health issues that have no where else to go ? I’ll bet you tell them where they can go every chance you get ! In summation I must conclude that based on your unsolicited statement that the following is true. You’re an unstable hater,who is clueless about crime & makes broad assumptions about the health of the homeless for whom you lack any compassion whatsoever. Personally I prefer to hate individual people based on their lack of character,decency & humanity. Ironically,you always seem to be a perfect fit for my criteria EG.

      • Flustered Finfan,

        My reading comp is just fine. Check yours. Because Empty’s post had nothing to do with the “negative impact of foreigners here illegally.” It had to do with a “Third World crime zone inhabited by disease-ridden homeless people.” I’ll admit it’s not exactly comprehensible. And “arrogance” is in people’s assumptions. How do you know Empty is a “legal resident?” Do you guys hang out? Have you checked his papers? Were his ancestors legal residents? Were yours? Any of your ancestors commit crimes at any point, or suffer from any diseases? Did they always live in homes or did they occasionally forage in the wilderness? As for “epithets,” don’t cast stones in a glass house. You’re the one who went there with “inner jackass.” Stop whining when you get it back in kind.

        • Your interpretation of Empty Gun’s comment to a post about sanctuary cities is conveniently, make that laughably, narrow. That said, it’s the closest thing to a legitimate point you made in your otherwise desperate response. Empty Gun’s tenure on this site, coupled with the content of his posts, relieves me (and anyone else with an ounce of objectivity) of any questions about his nationality.

          Face it, you revealed yourself by your indefensible suggestion that EG consider moving and you’re desperate to rebury the ugly intolerance that underlies your crappola progressive rhetoric. Your suggestion to him was just as bad as the racist suggestion that disgruntled African Americans go back to Africa.

          • Wow, your incredibly incisive comments, along with your exhortation to “face it” has made me see the light! As you say, I’ve “revealed” myself! And my suggestion that EG move was “indefensible!” Some out there might have lingering concerns though – so maybe you can educate them too. Some might say a person dissatisfied with third-world diseased homeless people around him should think about moving – especially if he has delusions that all of them are foreigners. But both you and I know better, don’t we? Some might say a person’s “tenure” on a website coupled with the content of his posts do not indicate citizenship when the posts do not indicate citizenship explicitly, and when the person’s papers have not been checked. Actually, your hero Arpaio might say that (though only about certain kinds of people). Some might even call it an old boys’ club when you magically infer someone’s citizenship from their “tenure” anywhere, let alone on a website. But you and I know better, don’t we? Some might say your immediate reference to Jim Crow laws and African-Americans – when I didn’t refer to either – is defensive. Because it actually reveals YOU for what YOU are. But you and I know better, don’t we? In fact, you and I both know you are actually a crusader for the rights of African-Americans – heck, you’re probably African-American yourself. Some might say that based on your “tenure” on this website, anyone with objectivity would infer you are not African-American. But what do they know? And from your penetrating intelligence, I now have learned that I’m “desperate.” Funny, I thought I was entertaining myself in the middle of the day because it beats watching grass grow. But I now have learned that I’m desperate. Which is great, because it means I’ve got more energy than I thought I had. Thank you. Because of you, I don’t need coffee any more.

          • Empty Gun needn’t move,that would just burden another community with his bigotry. His complete disappearance would be my preference !

          • NotSoCalm,

            You invested 321 words in a failed attempt to obscure the truth evinced by your reply to EG: you’re nasty and intolerant. My accusing you of being “desperate” appears to have been right on the mark. You’ve outed yourself as a hater. Welcome to the club.

          • Disappear from SJI = Extermination ? Only in your sick,twisted,little mind ! How stupid are you ? No need to answer that question,we already have a consensus on that matter,’really stupid’ ! Insofar as referring to me as “comrade”,nothing could be further from the truth. I’m at least ten times as patriotic as a bigoted white nationalist fascist like you ! Save the offensive term “comrade” for the Russian collaborators in the Trump White House,Trump campaign,Trump family,Trump himself & Trump supporters like you ! You & Putin have a lot in common,you’re both odorous pieces of fetid excrement,devoid of honor.morality,dignity & compassion ! It’s no wonder you’re a Frustrated Finfan,the Miami Dolphins & you are both losers who haven’t accomplished anything of merit since 1974 ! Futile Finfan is more like I !!!.

          • Another deceitful progressive running from his own words. Waxman, you said nothing about Empty Gun disappearing from SJI. What you addressed was the suggestion that EG leave this area and move elsewhere, and to that you expressed your objection to his/her burdening another COMMUNITY with his bigotry. You then stated your preferred solution was that he/she disappear — obviously from both this area and everywhere else. From that statement, coupled with your previous rants against religious belief (and, presumably, disappearance by divine/supernatural means), I deduced that you desired a Final Solution for EG.

            But maybe you can explain another way people disappear due solely to their political beliefs?

            As for your vulgarity, it appears your fixation with filth is showing. What the hell did your mother do to you?

  3. This is only a temporary reprieve as it only affects Federal grants that have already been issued. Nothing prevents the Federal Government from changing the language for future grants to make compliance with Federal immigration authorities mandatory.

    • When ever the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch show a total disregard & contempt for the law,it’s the duty of the Judicial Branch to set them straight & demand compliance. You obviously only have a problem with that when you disagree with a judge’s decision. Sad ! Someone needs to run this country because the Trump Administration & a complicit Republican majority in Congress appear to be totally incapable of doing their jobs.
      If Hair Furor consulted with a non-biased attorney at the Justice Department before trying to make his rash decisions into law,the judges would be far less busy than they are now. Striking the President’s knuckles with a ruler has become a full time job for many Federal judges,wasting their valuable time better spent elsewhere. You knew that Trump didn’t know the first thing about the law (other than defying it) or being President when you voted for him.
      Now you have no one to blame for his lawless behavior or the absurdity of his actions but yourselves. You broke it & now you’ll pay plenty for it,when the aggrieved & aggravated voters strike back with a vengeance at the midterm elections next year !

  4. Proud to live in a County that stands up to an autocratic president who does not understand the Constitution and the rule of law. Very happy that judges are doing their jobs- up holding the law.

  5. People complain about crowded roads, schools and a housing market w/ too few houses – — so let’s put out the welcome mat for a few more million people to show up. Makes perfect sense.

  6. All of you hypocritical law & order conservatives are as pathetic as you are hysterically funny ! Always citing the Constitution & demanding obedience to your own narrow interpretation of the law. That is until a ruling goes against your repugnant right-wing agenda,then we’re subjected to your outrage over what you perceive to be judicial overreach. The truth is that Trump has absolutely no idea about the legality or Constitutionality of anything he proposes,never inquires before acting & leaves the Justice Department incapable of defending his rash decisions. Judging by their commentary it would appear that his faithful adherents have as little or less knowledge of or respect for the law in this land as he does. Please “Make America Great Again’ by leaving now & taking Trump with you ! There’s no sanctuary for angry clueless propaganda spreading alt-right white nationalists here in Santa Clara County. See you at the polls !!!

    • If you were a judge I’d “hope & expect” you to be “slapped” too ! I sure hope the line isn’t too long,because I’m much too busy to spend my day standing at the end of a long line awaiting my turn.

  7. Good news, Waxy!

    California is now officially a communist state!


    “California Supreme Court rules for farmworkers, and upholds binding mediation”

    The politburo can now take over agricultural enterprises and run them like collective farms.

    I realize that this is the “change” that progressives have been “hoping” for, but I have to admit to a little bit of anxiety.

    Collectivization of agriculture is how the Great Ukrainian Famine began under the Bolsheviks.


  8. @ Finfan:

    You sat down and counted my words? I’m impressed. You just might enjoy watching grass grow.

      • Oh good. So that tool you downloaded gave you extra time to hate on “haters” and advocate for peace, love and harmony — along with your flower children, free-love buddies Booble, EG, BO-PEEP-CA, John of Galt, Francisco D’anconia, Robert Cortese of the clan Cortese, Conor Macleod of the clan Macleod, etc. Men well known for answering hate with L-O-V-E, for turning the other cheek, for offering to hug hateful “progressives” in every post, for offering “illegals” care packages before airlifting them to the other side of the wall, for responding to sarcasm with compassion, understanding and an invite to Txgiving dinner. On 2nd thought, you’ve convinced me. I want to join the party of peace, love and tranquility. Where do I sign up?

        • > I want to join the party of peace, love and tranquility. Where do I sign up?

          Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County


          “Less Government – More Choices

          Peace, Prosperity, and Freedom”

          If you need help in figuring out how to use your prosperity and freedom to achieve love and tranquility, just ask.

          • Easy Booble. You are known far and wide as a passenger on the LOVE boat, remember? That last sentence had a hint of sarcasm. As punishment, write this 500 times on the blackboard — “Progressives are haters. I believe love trumps hate. Long live Prez Rump.”

  9. Have you learned nothing from history? There has never been a legitimate “party of peace, love, and tranquility” for the same reason there has never been such a thing as incorruptible power. Parties are organizations in pursuit of power and authority, and are, as such, inevitably incongruent with virtues that demand the relinquishment of such things. On the centennial of the emergence of the most powerful party of the 20th century, one which proved itself to be the antithesis of peace, love, and tranquility, it is a shame that totalitarian fancy continues to turn to thoughts of party.

    • You talking Nazis or what? I think your fellow passengers on the LOVE boat would call any reference to Nazis a violation of the Love Code. Or they might say you jumped the shark. Or violated Moore’s Law. Or something. Check their Policies and Procedures Manual before posting again. Hide your copy of Mein Kampf for now.

      • So much for your history. The Nazi party did not exist a hundred years ago. The centennial reference was to 1917, the start of the communist revolution in Russia, which ultimately delivered the repressive, murderous state that proved so popular with American academics, entertainers, and journalists at the NY Times — the same arrogant fools who’ve yet to get over their infatuation with socialist pipe dreams.

        • Ok, fair enough. But in your 1st post, you said “powerful party of the 20th Century,” not “100 years ago.” The Nazi Party did exist in the 20th Century. So my history is just fine. I don’t read minds.

          • “On the centennial of the emergence of the most powerful party…”

            No mind reading required, just a modest intelligence and a decent education.

          • Far be it from me to presume to preach to anyone about what is or isn’t a worthwhile way to spend their time but based on my observation maybe an exercise like word counting would benefit Calmherdown’s reading comprehension.

  10. > That last sentence had a hint of sarcasm.

    We intellectuals don’t do sarcasm; we do irony.

    Sarcasm is for ignorant, low-class clods.

  11. @ Booble & Finfan:

    Take it easy. Quit looking down on my intelligence, education, or class status. You guys are the lovers not the haters. Stay on The Love Boat. You don’t want to become a “progressive” do you? I’m the one who’s “nasty and intolerant” right?

  12. Wow.

    I am amazed at the responses of FRUSTRATED FINFAN.
    He/She has the most brilliant, articulated, and highly educated posts of anyone I have ever read on a public forum. He/She would be a great mentor in my opinion…

    I would be reluctant to post anything against what they know to be fact, as it would be futile to argue against them. No, I’m not being sarcastic. I am amazed at their intellect and wish I had their type of “smarts.”

    • Jeffery Collins if you think Frustrated Finfan is brilliant you’re either –

      a) not very bright yourself

      b) a right-wing zealot

      c) a bigoted racist

      d) a Trump voter

      e) Frustrated Finfan’s latest pseudonym

      f) any combination of a thru e

      Regardless your sarcastic & hilarious comments are the funniest I’ve read in ages,keep it coming !

  13. @ Sir John Of Gault:

    Is that what they teach in Galt’s Gulch? Word counting? Because if they did, your speech in the middle of Atlas Shrugged might not have been 70 pages long.

    Ayn Rand may be dead, but you guys are still delivering your speeches.

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