President Donald J. Trump promised to get tough on immigration. It’s one of the reasons why he sling shot his way to the top of the 2016 GOP field. In July of 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that cities that adopt sanctuary city policies would have their law enforcement grants curtailed. The groundwork for this major policy initiative was laid down well in advance. Everyone knew this was coming.
Mayors of cities that have adopted these measures have vowed to fight back. California called the DOJ’s lawsuit against their sanctuary state law an “act of war.” The Republican Party, the base, everyone is onboard, except for the courts. They’ve ruled that withholding the funds is unconstitutional. The courts have become another thorn in the side of the Trump agenda. First, the Trump White House had to fight over what was well within the president’s power regarding his executive order on immigration and now, this sanctuary city business. A federal judge in New York delivered another trash ruling on this front (via The Hill):
A federal judge on Friday ruled against the Trump administration's move to withhold grant funding from law enforcement agencies of so-called sanctuary cities, saying it was illegal and unconstitutional.
Judge Edgardo Ramos, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, said the government “did not have lawful authority” to make states alert federal agents when an undocumented immigrant is going to be released from state or local custody and allow federal agents to question immigrants in custody about their legal status in order for states and cities to receive funding.
In his ruling, Ramos blocked the government from enforcing those conditions on New York, New York City and the six states that also challenged the requirements: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood (D) called the court’s decision a major win.
Regardless, the fight continues. The selling point for this policy was that it would allow illegals that witness crimes to come forward without fear of deportation. That’s absurd. Sheriffs from across the country have said they have yet to find any anecdotal evidence of the policy working in this fashion. It’s just a haven for illegal aliens to settle in and avoid federal immigration authorities. It’s the reason why Jose Zarate, the illegal who shot and killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco, came back to the city despite being deported five times prior. He knew no one would be looking for him. Steinle’s death is what sparked a national dialogue about this policy.