A federal judge has refused to overturn his own ruling that blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order denying federal grant funding to Sanctuary cities.
U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick, who in April blocked implementation of Trump’s order in response to several lawsuits against it, said Thursday that a memo written by Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding how the Justice Department would implement the order was not enough to reverse his own injunction.
Sessions’ memo said the order should be applied only to a small number of grants and to very specific immigration law violations. The memo said cities that “willfully refuse to comply” with federal law could only lose grants from the Justice and Homeland Security departments.
Orrick, however, had based his injunction on other grounds.
“I conclude that the AG Memorandum is functionally an ‘illusory promise’ to enforce the Executive Order narrowly and, as such, does not resolve the constitutional claims that the Counties have brought based on the Order’s language,” Orrick wrote.
The Justice Department did not issue a comment on the ruling.
anctuary cities are communities that ban local law enforcement authorities from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, particularly in regards to turning over to immigration authorities for deportation individuals who are arrested in those communities.
As reported by Western Journalism, Orrick, who was appointed to his post by former President Barack Obama, worked on immigration-related cases for the Obama-era Justice Department.
Despite the legal setback Thursday, Sessions came out swinging Friday against sanctuary cities.
“Some jurisdictions in this country refuse to cooperate with the federal government when it comes to immigration authorities to turn over illegal aliens who commit crimes, even MS-13 members,” Sessions said in a Friday speech in Philadelphia.
“These policies are often called sanctuary policies, but they are giving sanctuary not to law abiding citizens of our communities, they are providing sanctuary to criminals,” Sessions said.
Sessions said that the Justice Department is working to protect the safety of citizens in communities like Philadelphia, which is a sanctuary city.
“This department is especially focused on eradicating the threat posed by MS-13. Their motto is to kill, rape, control and that is what they do every day,” Sessions said. “We have a motto, too, and our motto is that: justice for criminals and justice for victims and consequences for criminals … We’re going to need the cooperation of local law enforcement officers.”