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Controversy over federal funding for sanctuary cities continues

Many cities and towns in California recognize the role that immigrants play in society. That is why some of them have designated themselves as sanctuary cities, meaning that they do not use any funds towards enforcing federal immigration laws.

One of the provisions of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, which was issued in January, denied cities that fail to cooperate with immigration efforts by the federal government access to federal funds. According to CNN, a judge in the 9thCircuit Court has now blocked the federal government from enforcing that provision of the order. That is the same court that previously ruled against President Trump’s travel ban.

From the beginning, it was not clear what exactly constitutes a sanctuary jurisdiction. The Trump administration has indicated that a definition would be announced. In making his decision, the judge considered that the jurisdictions in danger of losing the funding were already suffering harm and that if the case were to progress through the system, there is a good chance the provision would be found to be unconstitutional.

Even if allowed to proceed, the sanctuary city provision may only be enforced very narrowly. Under the law, jurisdictions are only required to turn over data concerning citizenship, which many of those affected already do. In addition, cities are also already required to meet certain conditions before receiving some federal grant monies. The Trump administration has spoken out against the ruling and indicated that it intends to fight it.

According to the Los Angeles Times, there are currently approximately 40 jurisdictions in California that consider themselves sanctuary cities. While some are big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, there are also a number of smaller jurisdictions as well. Nationally, there are more than 400 sanctuary jurisdictions.

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