For the third time in two months, a federal judge has knocked down an immigration order by President Trump and used Trump’s own language against him.
In a ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick quoted Trump to support his decision to block the president’s order to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials.
Trump called the sanctuary cities order a “weapon” against communities that disagree with his preferred immigration policy, Orrick said. The judge also cited a February interview in which he said the president threatened to cut off funding to California, saying the state “in many ways is out of control.”
…Orrick’s preliminary injunction against the sanctuary cities order will stay in place while the lawsuits by San Francisco and Santa Clara work their way through court.
The government hasn’t cut off any money yet or declared any communities sanctuary cities. But the Justice Department sent letters last week advising communities to prove they are in compliance. California was informed it could lose $18.2 million.
Orrick said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.
Even if the president could do so, those conditions would have to be clearly related to the funds at issue and not coercive, as the executive order appeared to be, Orrick said.