Judge Orders DOJ to Give California $28M in Trump Immigration Law Ruling

  • Oct 28 2018

A California judge, recently struck down a law stating that cities and states could not stop officials from reporting people’s immigration status to U.S. authorities. He found that the government could not tie funding to immigration.

The government announced more than a year ago that cities and states would only qualify to receive Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grants if they allow federal officials in corrections facilities and make them aware of anyone who is known to be in the country illegally.

CA Deems Conditions for Receiving Grants As Unconstitutional

Orrick found that the conditions upon which cities and states had to meet in order to receive the grant were unconstitutional. This is at least the third time in recent months that a U.S. district court judge has declared the federal government’s to go against the constitution. However, none of these rulings immediately overrode enforcement of the law on a national level.

Subsequent to his decision, Judge William Orrick ordered that the Department of Justice must give the state of California $28M that it had held back because of the state’s immigration laws.

Trump Administration Argues Sanctuary States and Cities Enable Illegal Criminals

The law was initially cited earlier this year in an attempt to override multiple state laws. One of those laws prevented police from sharing release dates and information of jail inmates. The Trump administration however, found that such information was necessary for being able to remove dangerous illegal immigrants from the country. It contends that sanctuary states and cities, such as San Francisco, are allowing dangerous (illegal) criminals to freely roam the streets.

Sanctuary Cities Fear Erosion of Trust

However, these sanctuary cities believe that this rule will only serve to harm their communities, scaring citizens, eroding trust, and subsequently reducing the number of people who will report local crimes. Judge Orrick agreed. “California expresses the legitimate concern that entanglement with federal immigration enforcement erodes the trust that Latino and undocumented immigrant communities have in law enforcement,” he explained.

Xavier Becerra, California’s Attorney General found the ruling to be a victory. He expanded upon this, stating that the state of California will continue to fight against the Trump administration on issues that they believe will only do harm and make their communities less safe.

Impact of CA Decision

California’s decision may prove extremely influential, as it applies to a major portion of the administration’s opposition regarding sanctuary jurisdictions. Additionally, Judge Orrick prohibited Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, from enforcing this law against any part or whole of California. Citing the reason for his decision, Orrick said that the law “undermines existing state and local policies and strips local policymakers of the power to decide for themselves whether to communicate with” immigration officers. In addition to that it places some of the immigration enforcement costs onto the states themselves.

Posted in: Immigration Law