DOJ makes move in the fight over sanctuary cities

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After a San Francisco judge earlier this year ruled that President Trump’s sanctuary cities order to restrict federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities was likely unconstitutional, the U.S. Justice Department on Monday said it would appeal that decision

President Trump issued the executive order in January, shortly after he was inaugurated, which directed that funding is slashed to all jurisdictions that refuse to comply with a statute that requires local governments to share information with U.S. immigration authorities.

Nominated by President Obama in June 2012, U.S. District Judge William Orrick III of San Francisco blocked the president’s order in April. News reports show that Orrick was an Obama fundraiser, who brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the former president.

Sanctuary cities — one being San Francisco — offer safe harbor to illegal aliens. In direct defiance of U.S. immigration law, dozens of cities and other local governments, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, have joined the growing “sanctuary” movement.

The Trump administration points out that local authorities endanger public safety when they decline to cooperate with ICE officials in the deportation of illegal immigrants arrested for crimes.

California’s Santa Clara County – which includes the city of San Jose and several smaller Silicon Valley communities – sued over Trump’s order, saying it was unconstitutional. San Francisco filed a similar lawsuit. They claim that Trump’s order could improperly withhold vast amounts of federal funding for sanctuary cities.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that sanctuary policies leave the 300 or so participating cities unsafe, attracting criminals to them. He said a University of California, Riverside, study found that cities with sanctuary policies average more crimes than those that don’t.

“These jurisdictions are protecting criminals rather than their law-abiding residents,” Session said, noting that they extend sanctuary to violent offenders, such as members of the MS-13 gang.

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