San Francisco asked a federal judge Friday to halt enforcement of President Trump’s executive order blocking federal money from so-called “sanctuary cities,” according to a new report.
The city argued in a request alongside nearby Santa Clara county that Trump cannot withhold federal funds without approval from Congress, NBC News reported Friday.
“Any restriction on eligibility for federal funds must be imposed – clearly, unambiguously, and in advance – by Congress,” San Francisco’s lawyers said in their written briefs. “San Francisco is safer when all people, including undocumented immigrants, feel safe reporting crimes.”
The lawsuit asks Judge William Orrick to issue a nationwide injunction blocking Trump’s order on sanctuary cities, those that refuse to assist federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.
The Trump administration counters that the suit – and its requested injunction – are premature as the federal government has not begun implementing the president’s order.
San Francisco says it could lose about $2 billion annually in federal funding, NBC said, while a Justice Department lawyer told Orrick the total would be much lower.
The dispute centers on detainer requests, NBC reported, in which the federal government asks local police and sheriff offices to hold jail inmates for up to 48 hours after they have finished serving their sentences.
The requests apply to undocumented immigrants who are convicted of local crimes and can ultimately result in deportation after release.
San Francisco city ordinances prohibit its police from providing advance notice of an inmate’s release from jail, NBC added, even if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) wants to detain them.
Trump issued a broad order on immigration law enforcement in January which gave his administration the power to limit grants to sanctuary cities.
Attorney General Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsSan Francisco seeks ban on Trump’s ‘sanctuary city’ order: report Sessions: Police consent decrees can ‘reduce morale’ Justice Department must act on Puerto Rico MORE said last month state and local governments seeking Department of Justice grants they must certify they are not sanctuary cities to obtain the money.
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