SF, Santa Clara fight Trump sanctuary order


The city of San Francisco and Santa Clara County asked a federal judge Wednesday to issue a permanent injunction wrapping up their lawsuits against President Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities.

The two local governments filed motions asking U.S. District Judge William Orrick of San Francisco to declare Trump’s Jan. 25 order unconstitutional and permanently block it from going into effect.

Orrick is scheduled to hold a hearing on the requests on Oct. 4.

Trump’s order threatened to deny federal funding to cities and counties deemed to be sanctuary jurisdictions shielding undocumented immigrants from federal deportation.

San Francisco sued to challenge the law on Jan. 31 and Santa Clara County did the same on Feb. 3.

In previous proceedings, Orrick issued a preliminary injunction against the law on April 25, concluding that it violated the constitutional separation of powers by intruding on Congress’s spending power.

In today’s motions, San Francisco and Santa Clara County urged the judge to complete the proceedings by issuing a permanent injunction in a summary judgment without a trial. Summary judgments are used when the questions in a case are legal issues that would be decided by a judge rather than a jury.

The two local governments said an end to their cases is needed to prevent continued funding threats, budget uncertainty and chaos.

“As long as the executive order remains in place, San Francisco cannot escape defendants’ threats,” the city’s attorneys wrote in their brief.

“San Francisco will continue to face the possibility that its budget could be crippled at any time and that it will be coerced into choosing to violate the Constitution or maintain its federal funds,” they argued.

Santa Clara County lawyers contended the order unconstitutionally “purports to seize for the President spending powers that belong solely to Congress, then distorts and expands those powers beyond constitutional limitations.” “It baldly attempts to compel state and local governments to become agents of the federal government’s immigration enforcement agenda, violating core principles of federalism,” Santa Clara County’s attorneys wrote.

San Francisco says it receives $1.2 billion per year in federal funds, or 13 percent of its annual budget, plus another $800 million in multi-year grants. Santa Clara County says in its brief that it receives $1.7 billion, or 35 percent of its budget, in federal or federally dependent funds annually.

A spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department was not immediately available for comment.

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