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Trump Crackdown Confronts Sanctuary Fight, Skeptical Judge


A key part of the Trump administration’s push to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants was met with skepticism from a federal judge.

San Francisco and its Silicon Valley neighbor, Santa Clara County, are seeking a nationwide ban on enforcement of President Donald Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order declaring that so-called sanctuary cities have caused “immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our republic.” The city and county say they’re threatened with the loss of perhaps billions of dollars in federal funding unless they abide by unconstitutional demands.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick dealt a first blow to the administration in court Friday, agreeing with the city and county that they’re harmed by Trump’s policy and have the right to sue to block it. The judge went on to pick apart the administration’s argument that the order merely restates existing law, saying in making his decision he would take into account past statements by the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and not just the text of the order itself.

John Keker, a lawyer for Santa Clara County, called the threat to withhold funding a “gun to the head” of local officials.

“This unconstitutional order cannot be enforced, cannot be applied, cannot exist consistent with law,” Keker argued at Friday’s court hearing in San Francisco. “The president doesn’t have the power to do it.”

To read the full report, click here.

Keker, Van Nest & Peters is representing Santa Clara County in challenging President Donald Trump’s January 25, 2017 executive order that threatens to deprive “sanctuary jurisdictions” of federal funds. Click to read the firm's press release and complaint.