California county seeks nationwide halt of Trump sanctuary order

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SAN FRANCISCO One of California’s most populous
counties asked a judge on Thursday to suspend President Donald
Trump’s executive order that seeks to withhold federal funds
from so-called sanctuary cities for immigrants, saying the
directive has thrown its budget process into “disarray.”

Trump last month signed an order targeting local governments
that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities, as
he made plans to transform how the United States deals with
immigration and national security.

Santa Clara County, which includes the city of San Jose and
several smaller Silicon Valley communities, sued in San
Francisco federal court earlier this month, saying Trump’s plan
to withhold federal funds is unconstitutional. San Francisco filed a similar lawsuit. The same judge is hearing both cases.

In a court filing on Thursday, Santa Clara county sought a
nationwide preliminary injunction against Trump’s order. The
county receives roughly $1.7 billion in federal and federally
dependent funds each year, the filing said, about 35 percent of
its total annual revenues.

“The Executive Order has thrown the county’s current
budgetary and planning processes into disarray,” it said.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice could
not immediately be reached for comment. In a statement, San
Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera said it is reviewing the
motion and shares many of Santa Clara county’s concerns.

Republican Trump has vowed to get tougher on the estimated
11 million illegal immigrants in the United States than his
Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. Protesters have taken to
the streets in opposition to Trump’s plans and organized events
such as “A Day Without Immigrants” to highlight the importance
of foreign-born people to the economy.

James Williams, Santa Clara County Counsel, said a court
ruling is needed now because the county often spends money up
front and then is reimbursed by the federal government.

“We can’t spend millions of dollars every week and then find
out three months from now that reimbursement is going to be
denied,” Williams said. “It’s not feasible.”

A hearing on the injunction motion is scheduled for April 5.

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