By JoAnne Powers
A federal judge on Friday expressed skepticism about portions of a Trump administration order which would halt federal funding to cities, counties and states which refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agents. A lawsuit was filed in January by the City of San Francisco and Santa Clara County, California, calling for an injunction on the order which threatens billions of dollars in federal aid nationwide to more than 300 “sanctuary” cities and counties. The administration argued that the city and county do not have standing to challenge the order, as their federal funding has not yet been suspended, but during Friday’s hearing Federal Judge William Orrick agreed that the municipalities have the right to sue.
Workers represented by the Service Employees International Union in Northern California have filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the judge to rule quickly against the executive order in order to protect vital local services. Roxanne Sanchez, President of SEIU Local 1021 issued a statement saying (quote) “SEIU members are proud to join the communities we serve in defending our local values of unity and inclusion. We’ve sent a clear message that we won’t stand by while the Trump Administration scapegoats immigrant families. We refuse to allow crucial services to be held hostage for the fulfillment of Trump’s divisive and hateful agenda.”