Battle Escalates Over US “Sanctuary Cities”

Battle Escalates Over US “Sanctuary Cities”Battle Escalates Over US “Sanctuary Cities”

San Francisco asked a federal judge on Friday to block enforcement of an executive order issued by US President Donald Trump, which would cut off federal money to sanctuary cities—local governments—that limit police cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

Joined by nearby Santa Clara County, the city argued that the president has no power to withhold federal funds without approval from Congress. And complying with the executive order, San Francisco said, would violate the constitutional rights of prisoners, NBC News reported.

The city and county are asking Judge William Orrick to issue a nationwide injunction blocking the order. He did not immediately rule on the request.

The Trump administration argued that the lawsuit and the request for an order blocking enforcement of the executive order are premature because the government has not yet taken steps to carry it out.

The city said it could lose about $2 billion a year in federal funds, but a Justice Department lawyer told the judge that only a much smaller amount of grant money could be withheld if the city fails to comply.

At the heart of the dispute are detainer requests, issued by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, asking local police and sheriff’s offices to hold jail inmates for up to 48 hours after they have completed serving their sentences.

The requests apply to people in US illegally who are convicted of committing local crimes. They could be deported after they are released.

City ordinances prohibit San Francisco police from giving immigration authorities advance notice of an inmate’s release from jail, even if the police know that ICE wants to detain that person.


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