In January 2017, Trump issued an executive order to punish “sanctuary cities”—those jurisdictions that have policies or practices that protect illegal immigrants from federal enforcement efforts—by declaring them ineligible for most federal grants.Exec. Order No. 13768, 82 Fed. Reg. 8799, (Jan. 25, 2017). Also see The White House, “Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” press release (Washington, DC: The White House, January 25, 2017). In February 2017, Santa Clara County, California (soon joined by the city and county of San Francisco), sued to halt enforcement of this order.Eric Kurhi, “’Sanctuary’ Cities: Santa Clara County Seeks to Permanently Nix Trump’s Defunding Order,” Mercury News, August 30, 2017, updated August 31, 2017.
The federal judge in the case temporarily blocked the order from going into effect and, in November 2017, enjoined the federal government nationwide from enforcing the provisions of the order pertaining to grant ineligibility.Order Granting Motion for Summary Judgment, County of Santa Clara v. Trump, 17-cv-00574-WHO (N.D. Cal., Nov. 20, 2017); and Jon Herskovitz, “U.S. Judge in California Blocks Trump’s Order on Sanctuary Cities,” Reuters, November 21, 2017.
In the meantime, other cities and states have sued, including Chicago, which in September 2017 won a preliminary injunction halting the funding restriction nationwide.City of Chicago v. Sessions, 1:17-cv-05720 ( N.D. Ill. 2017). For complete case timeline and documents see Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, “City of Chicago v. Sessions,” University of Michigan Law School. Also see John Meisner and John Byrne, “Judge Rules in City’s Favor on Sanctuary Cities, Grants Nationwide Injunction,” Chicago Tribune, September 15, 2017.
The court noted the city could suffer irreparable harm to its relationship with the immigrant community if it were to comply with the new federal standards.Memorandum Opinion and Order, Chicago v. Sessions, (N.D. Ill., September 15, 2017), 35-39.
The Trump administration is appealing the ruling.John Byrne, “Trump Administration to Appeal Emanuel Immigration Lawsuit Win,” Chicago Tribune, September 26, 2017.