| SAN FRANCISCO, April 14
SAN FRANCISCO, April 14 A California federal
judge is set to hear arguments on Friday in a case brought by
two large counties requesting the suspension of President Donald
Trump's executive order that seeks to withhold federal funds
from so-called sanctuary cities for immigrants.
As part of a larger plan to transform how the United States
deals with immigration and national security, Trump in January
signed an order targeting cities and counties that limit
cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
Santa Clara County, which includes the city of San Jose and
several smaller Silicon Valley communities, sued in San
Francisco federal court in February, saying Trump's plan to
withhold federal funds is unconstitutional. San Francisco filed
a similar lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick III is hearing both
Both counties have asked for a nationwide preliminary
injunction to halt Trump's order, which Orrick is scheduled to
consider on Friday. Santa Clara County receives roughly $1.7
billion in federal and federally dependent funds annually, about
35 percent of its total revenues, according to court filings.
The county argued that its budgetary and planning process
had been thrown "into disarray" by the executive order, because
the county often spends money up front and then is reimbursed by
the federal government.
The U.S. Department of Justice said a federal court should
not suspend the executive order, because "government budgeting
always suffers from some amount of uncertainty."
To win a nationwide injunction, the local governments must
demonstrate a high level of harm, and mere budget uncertainty
does not meet the bar, the Justice Department noted last month
in court filings.
Sanctuary cities in general offer safe harbor to illegal
immigrants and often do not use municipal funds or resources to
advance the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Sanctuary
city is not an official designation.
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 U.S. economy.
(Reporting by Robin Respaut; additional reporting by Dan