Trump lashes out at wrong court after his effort to defund sanctuary cities is struck down

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee Immigration Reporter, Think Progress

The morning after a federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s attempts to deny federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities,” President Trump threatened to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings,” Trump wrote as the first of a three-part Twitter rant Wednesday morning. “See you in the Supreme Court!”

Trump said that the Ninth Circuit — where he presumed the ruling was issued — has a “terrible record of being overturned.” But Judge William Orrick — a district court judge based in San Francisco who issued Tuesday’s injunction — does not sit on the Ninth Circuit, which is an appeals court. As Politico pointed out, the Ninth Circuit will be the next court that will hear the case if the Trump administration chooses to appeal the decision.

Orrick’s ruling on Tuesday blocked key parts of Trump’s executive order which would pull federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities,” or localities where local law enforcement can choose to limit cooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency by not turning over suspected undocumented immigrants. As it stands, police department manuals in some current sanctuary localities still suggest officers establish whether people are in the country without authorization, which could encourage immigration enforcement.

In his ruling, Orrick argued that taking federal funding away from cities and counties like Santa Clara County and the city of San Francisco, which challenged the law by not cooperating with federal authorities, could be unconstitutional. He pointed out that these localities would face “immediate irreparable harm” in part because federal grants that “support core services in their jurisdictions” could be cut off.

Late Tuesday night, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer released a statement attacking the decision as an “egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.” Spicer also decried the city of San Francisco as a place that ignores federal immigration law and puts the “well-being of criminal aliens before the safety” of U.S. citizens.

“San Francisco, and cities like it, are putting the well-being of criminal aliens before the safety of our citizens, and those city officials who authored these policies have the blood of dead Americans on their hands,” Spicer said in his statement. “This San Francisco judge’s erroneous ruling is a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country, empowering the worst kind of human trafficking and sex trafficking, and putting thousands of innocent lives at risk.”

U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson Ian Prior said in a statement that Orrick’s ruling didn’t prevent the federal government from enforcing rules to some grants in localities that do not cooperate with federal immigration officials.

“Further, the order does not purport to enjoin the Department’s independent legal authority to enforce the requirements of federal law applicable to communities that violate federal immigration law or federal grant conditions,” Prior said.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus promised the administration would appeal.

“Again it’s the Ninth Circuit going bananas,” Priebus, who also mistook Orrick for a Ninth Circuit judge, said Tuesday. “It’s clear forum-shopping that’s going on. …We will win at the Supreme Court level.”

Trump previously slammed the Ninth Circuit when it upheld a lower court’s temporary injunction blocking his executive order to prevent immigrants from some Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.


Reposted from Think Progress.

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee is an Immigration Reporter/Blogger for ThinkProgress. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Middle East Studies and a M.A. in Psychology from New York University. A Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiary, Esther is passionate about immigration issues from all sides of the debate. She is originally from Los Angeles, CA.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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