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Fed Judge Okays Trump's Plan to Punish California for Breaking Immigration Laws

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A federal judge ruled Monday that the Trump administration does not have to immediately pay California the withheld funds President Donald Trump refused to award to the sanctuary state.

Earlier in February, Trump declared he would withhold federal funding from California after it became a sanctuary state via a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The law prohibits law enforcement agencies from inquiring about people’s immigration status or using jails to uphold federal immigration laws, Fox News reported.

“If we have to, we’ll defund,” Trump said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We give tremendous amounts of money to California. California in many ways is out of control, as you know.”

Now, U.S. District Judge William Orrick has ruled that the Trump administration can delay the $1 million grant that has been withheld from the Golden State, The Associated Press reported.

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Although he ruled against the state’s request to turn over the funds, he also rejected the U.S. Department of Justice’s request to dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety.

Orrick added that the “weighty and novel constitutional issues” raised by the lawsuit would benefit from further discussion.

“The question is whether the federal government is required to return federal funds to states that buck U.S. immigration policy by creating sanctuary city or sanctuary state rules that prevent local police from cooperating with federal officials,” noted.

Last year, “U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber (Chicago) said the DOJ could require Byrne Memorial grant recipients to certify compliance with the federal immigration law at issue,” according to the AP.

Do you think California should be punished for its actions?

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice filed a suit against the state of California modeled after one brought against Arizona by former President Barack Obama’s DOJ, which affirmed the federal government’s authority to set immigration policy.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions specifically singled out Oakland’s Mayor Libby Schaff, who tipped off criminal illegal aliens of an impending Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid in the city.

“So here’s my message to Mayor Schaff,” Sessions said. “How dare you, how dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda?”

The lawsuit alleges obstruction of federal immigration enforcement and targets “sanctuary state” laws passed by the legislature in 2017.

One statute prohibits state and local officials from sharing information with federal immigration officers and also bars the transfer of certain immigrants into federal custody. Another forbids private employers from cooperating with the federal government regarding immigration enforcement at the workplace.

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“Immigration is the province of the federal government. It’s in the Constitution,” Sessions told a gathering of law enforcement officers in Sacramento on Wednesday. “There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is the supreme law of the land.”

“A refusal to apprehend and deport (illegal aliens), especially the criminal element, effectively rejects all immigration law. It’s a rejection of law and creates an open borders system,” Sessions contended.

He also pointed out that no nation comes close to the number of legal immigrants the United States allows in each year, which is currently $1.1 million. So the Trump administration, the attorney general stated, is not anti-immigrant, but requires those wanting to enter the country to do so legally.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith