Santa Clara County advances Trump lawsuit

Santa Clara County took its next step in a lawsuit it filed against the Trump administration earlier this year after the president signed an executive order that threatened to withhold federal funds from cities and counties that do not aid with federal immigration enforcement by holding arrestees in custody past their release date.

On Tuesday, the county filed an opposition to the Trump administration’s May 22 request to lift the preliminary injunction that U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick granted on April 19, which barred the administration from withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities and counties.

The May 22 request was filed after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum interpreting the sanctuary community order as extremely narrow, applying only to grants from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

Dave Cortese, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement:

“The Attorney General’s memorandum is nothing more than a rehashing of arguments that the court has already considered and rejected. … While we appreciate that the Trump administration has attempted to dramatically limit the scope of the president’s unlawful executive order, we will continue to defend the injunction and the constitutional rights it protects.”

Federal funding accounts for $1.7 billion of healthcare and social services funding in the county budget, according to Cortese’s office.