Trump calls court's sanctuary ruling ridiculous

The Trump administration argued that the executive order applied narrowly to cities that forbid officials from reporting people's immigration status to federal authorities. "Once again, a single district judge - this time in San Francisco - has ignored federal immigration law to set a new immigration policy for the entire country".

The White House released a blistering statement Tuesday in response to a federal judge's decision to temporarily block President Trump's executive order that threatens to cut off government funding for sanctuary cities.

Trump called his order a "weapon" against communities that disagree with his preferred immigration policy, Orrick said. Trump has specifically threatened California, Orrick said, calling the state "out of control" and noting that it receives "tremendous amounts of money" from the federal government.

The Justice Department said the counties had taken an overly broad interpretation of the president's order, which it said would affect only Justice Department and Homeland Security funds, a fraction of the grant money received by the counties.

Orrick's ruling was another immigration policy setback for the administration as it approaches its 100th day in office later this month.

Orrick's ruling on Tuesday knocks down Trump's January 25 order that cities that shield undocumented immigrants from federal authorities would become ineligible to receive federal grants.

"Out of our very big country, with many choices, does everyone notice that both the "ban" case and now the "sanctuary" case is brought in the Ninth Circuit, which has a bad record of being overturned (close to 80%)", Trump wrote over two tweets.

The administration has often criticized the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The judge who made the decision, U.S. District Judge William Orrick, was nominated by President Barack Obama.

"The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the President, so the Order can not constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds", wrote Orrick, who was nominated to the court by Barack Obama.

In addition, Orrick said, the president's order, and comments by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, suggest that it would define sanctuary cities broadly, to cover communities that refuse to comply with immigration officials' "detainers".

The U.S. Justice Department said in a statement it would follow existing federal law with respect to sanctuary jurisdictions, as well as enforce conditions tied to federal grants. California was informed it could lose $18.2 million.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus described the ruling as another example of the "9th Circuit going bananas".

The Ninth Circuit - the largest court of appeals in the nation, representing nearly 20% of the population - is a regular subject of attack for conservatives.

The appeals court raised Trump's ire earlier this year when it upheld a Seattle judge's decision to block the Republican president's first travel ban on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations. "See you in the Supreme Court!" he said.

However, political experts said this ruling dealt a serious blow to the Trump Administration.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco hailed the ruling as "a victory for public safety and effective policing strategies".

"Between 2010-15, of all the cases the Supreme Court heard that came from the 9th Circuit, 79 percent were overturned", according to Politifact.

  • Leroy Wright