President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday directing the government to identify federal money it can withhold to punish “sanctuary cities” — a term for up to 300 communities that have policies protecting the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Trump vowed to “crack down” on those cities during a speech at the Department of Homeland Security.
“These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic,” Trump’s executive order said…
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 25, 2017
Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said that kind of lawsuit fits Trump’s “big and showy style,” but the law is murky.
The Justice Department under the Obama administration ruled last summer that local law enforcement agencies are required by federal law to at least share that information. However, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled in 2014 that local police departments are not required to hold undocumented immigrants for ICE.
“Justice could spend all of its time and resources going after these cases,” Brown said.