DOJ Asks Judge To Reconsider Sanctuary City Ruling In Wake Of New Memo

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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The Department of Justice filed a motion Monday asking a San Francisco federal judge to reconsider his ruling temporarily blocking enforcement of President Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities.

The motion comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a memo outlining the Trump administration’s definition of a sanctuary city and what funding is at risk of being cut by the executive order.

Judge William Orrick issued his temporary injunction against the executive order saying that it was too vague. The order signed by the president said sanctuary cities “are not eligible to receive federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes.”

Orrick ruled that this put San Francisco and Santa Clara County, California, at risk of losing more than a billion dollars annually. In his Monday memo, Sessions wrote that the only funding at risk is grants from both the DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security.

The San Francisco judge also said that statements by administration officials could lead one to conclude that the definition of a sanctuary jurisdiction is refusing to comply with immigration detainers. Sessions laid out in his memo that sanctuary cities are those that violate 8 U.S.C. 1373, which doesn’t allow jurisdictions to restrict the federal government’s access to an individual’s immigration status.

More than a hundred law enforcement agencies refuse to comply with detainers, but many liberal mayors feel safe with this new interpretation.

Sessions’ memo did say that the DOJ will tailor grants in order to “promote a lawful system of immigration.” This likely means that cities that comply with detainers will be able to receive more funding in future programs.