Sanctuary cities have been a subject of controversy and intense scrutiny within the Trump administration. Administrators says that their goal to protect the borders is undermined when American cities harbor illegal immigrants. After much debate, a federal judge has ruled that the Department of Justice cannot withhold federal funds in order to strong-arm a state with sanctuary cities into compliance.
U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson issued a 128-page ruling that dealt another blow to Trump’s administration, who hopes to get jobs back into hard-working Americans hands.
“Principles of federalism allow a city to deal with local issues as it sees best. The supremacy clause of the Constitution gives the federal government the final say — if, as, and when there is a conflict,” Judge Baylson wrote in his lengthy opinion. “In this case, given Philadelphia’s unique approach to meshing the legitimate needs of the federal government to remove criminal aliens with the City’s promotion of health and safety, there is no conflict of any significance.”
The judge’s ruling came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would deny federal funds as leverage on these states and cities, according to The Hill. Of course, this would likely create havoc between the federal and state governments.
Earlier this year, a federal judge in Chicago blocked nationwide enforcement of the DOJ using federal funds as leverage to deport illegal immigrants being harbored in sanctuary cities, according to the Washington Times.
In the Philadelphia case, court records indicated that the DOJ was planning on withholding $1.5 million of the city’s 4.4 million yearly budget, according to the Daily Caller. Sessions has been at odds with sanctuary cities since he expressed dissatisfaction with cities who refuse to oust illegal immigrants.
Judge Baylson said in a press conference: “Philadelphia is not a sanctuary for anyone involved in criminal conduct, nor is it a sanctuary as to any law enforcement investigation, prosecution, or imprisonment after having been found guilty of a crime.”
Sessions seems to have joined the Trump administration in receiving court opinions that knock down any forward movement on the immigration situation.