A federal judge in New York has ruled the Trump sanctuary city crackdown illegal Friday — but even went further and also ruled the law Congress passed requiring information-sharing is unconstitutional.
Judge Edgardo Ramos’ decision frees sanctuary jurisdictions in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Washington, Massachusetts and Virginia to continue their policies without fear of losing federal money.
The judge said the Trump administration attempted to write new conditions of cooperation, including notifying the feds of illegal immigrants ready for pickup, beyond what Congress had authorized. He said it is up to Congress to decide those conditions.
“The separation of powers acts as a check on tyranny and the concentration of power,” the judge wrote
But beyond that, the judge ruled Section 1373 of immigration law, which requires at least some level of information-sharing, to be a violation of the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment, which prohibits federal interference with state powers.
It’s not a groundbreaking ruling — several other judges have reached similar decisions. But it does apply the ruling to a broad swath of the country.
The ruling orders the government to release federal money to states under the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program — the program that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had tried to sanction.
“The Trump administration’s attempt to withhold these vital funds was nothing more than a political attack at the expense of our public safety,” said New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood.
Judge Ramos was appointed to the bench by President Obama. But the Trump administration has also lost sanctuary city cases in Illinois, California and Philadelphia, with judges named by both Republicans and Democrats unanimously finding the president and his team overstepped their bounds.
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