Published on:

DOJ May Not Seek “Sanctuary City” Injunction Stay

new-york-472392_640-300x200According to a Department of Justice attorney, the federal government is not expecting a stay of proceedings of last week’s federal ruling barring the President and federal government’s plan to withhold funds from “sanctuary cities,” but also doesn’t expect that door to remain closed for long. This is the Trump administration’s second court setback when it comes to immigration, following the Ninth Circuit’s ruling against the immigration ban.

President Donald Trump has vowed throughout the campaign and after taking office to enforce a major crackdown on undocumented immigrants and lenient immigration policies.

The result was a so-called Muslim ban against 6 predominantly Muslim countries—which has since been shut down by a Hawaii judge—and another executive order withholding funds from cities and counties for their so-called “sanctuary city” policies, described as a refusal to cooperate with the feds in indefinitely detaining undocumented immigrants.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick III issued an injunction barring this executive order last week, believing Trump to have overstepped his authority, pointing out that only Congress can place such federal budget allocation restrictions.

Among the jurisdictions that followed suit include San Francisco, Santa Clara County, and Richmond, which denied the DOJ time to move to dismiss their lawsuits unless they were promised higher courts would not be asked to place the injunction on hold.

At a conference last Tuesday, Justice Department attorney W. Scott Simpson said the Department doesn’t “contemplate seeking a stay, but can’t just slam the door completely forever.”

Judge Orrick attended that same conference, where he urged both parties to arrive at a compromise. This would involve allowing the DOJ to move to dismiss in June so long as they promise not to use the turn-out of the pleadings “as an argument in favor of getting a stay [of proceedings].”

San Francisco has since agreed to the extension of the deadline on the condition the preliminary injunction, as well as the city’s federal funding, are sustained.

Judge Orrick set the deadline for all fact discovery in October and set the tentative trial date on April 23, 2018

He also stated that he intends to bar Northern California’s ACLU from intervening in the case through their filing of amicus curiae briefs. “The issues are well fleshed out by the parties and the many friends of the court,” he said in denying their necessity.

Despite the DOJ promising only small amounts of grant money would be withheld, Orrick nonetheless believes the scope of the January executive order enhancing border security and internal immigration enforcement without a doubt provides for the withholding of much more.

In Austin and Travis County, Texas, rejections of detainer holds, which are requests from the federal government to keep undocumented immigrants in jail until they can initiate deportation proceedings, continue.

If you or a loved one needs to know more about sanctuary city policies in Austin, talk to the immigration law experts of the Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today to learn more from immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle.