White House Responds to Block of Sanctuary Cities EO: Rule of Law Suffered Another Blow

San Francisco Blocks EO Reuters
Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The White House issued a response late Monday night to a San Francisco judge’s decision to block President Donald Trump’s executive order to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with federal immigration law.

The White House statement read:

Today, the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy for our Nation. Federal law explicitly states that “a Federal, State or Local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”  8 U.S.C. 1373(a).  That means, according to Congress, a city that prohibits its officials from providing information to federal immigration authorities — a sanctuary city — is violating the law.   Sanctuary cities, like San Francisco, block their jails from turning over criminal aliens to Federal authorities for deportation.  These cities are engaged in the dangerous and unlawful nullification of Federal law in an attempt to erase our borders.

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.  This decision occurred in the same sanctuary city that released the 5-time deported illegal immigrant who gunned down innocent Kate Steinle in her father’s arms.  San Francisco, and cities like it, are putting the well-being of criminal aliens before the safety of our citizens, and those city officials who authored these policies have the blood of dead Americans on their hands.  This San Francisco judge’s erroneous ruling is a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country, empowering the worst kind of human trafficking and sex trafficking, and putting thousands of innocent lives at risk.

This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.  Today’s ruling undermines faith in our legal system and raises serious questions about circuit shopping.  But we are confident we will ultimately prevail in the Supreme Court, just as we will prevail in our lawful efforts to impose immigration restrictions necessary to keep terrorists out of the United States.

In the meantime, we will pursue all legal remedies to the sanctuary city threat that imperils our citizens, and continue our efforts to ramp up enforcement to remove the criminal and gang element from our country.  Ultimately, this is a fight between sovereignty and open borders, between the rule of law and lawlessness, and between hardworking Americans and those who would undermine their safety and freedom.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick III of San Francisco blocked the January 25 order on the basis that it targeted broad categories of federal funding for these sanctuary cities, and he determined that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in their claims that the order is unconstitutional, according to Reuters.

San Francisco is among jurisdictions designated as sanctuary cities across the United States. California is one of a few states that have introduced legislation to become designated entirely as a sanctuary state.

Just last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued letters to sanctuary jurisdictions with a demand to comply with federal immigration laws or face losing law enforcement grant money. This week in Washington, D.C. Sessions met with mayors of 15 large cities, including some that represent sanctuary jurisdictions. The meeting centered around Department of Justice efforts to withhold funds from sanctuary cities.

Federal judges have, more than once, blocked the President’s executive orders to restrict travel from select countries where terrorism is prevalent — countries designated under the Obama Administration.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana