President Trump’s words keep coming back to haunt him. When a federal judge moved to block Trump’s executive order to curb federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities on Tuesday, he cited statements Trump has made in the past.
On at least one occasion, Trump has called the order to keep some federal dollars away from certain localities “a weapon” to be used against places where they believe officials are releasing from custody criminals who should be deported. The judge cited an interview the president conducted with Fox News in February in which he specifically called out California.
“California in many ways is out of control, as you know,” Trump told now-ousted host Bill O’Reilly. “We will certainly not stand for sanctuary even cities, let alone states.”
Judge William Orrick said the two quotes showed that the Trump Administration plans to broadly target funding for certain cities and that California was at particular risk.
“They have repeatedly indicated an intent to defund sanctuary jurisdictions in compliance with the Executive Order,” Judge Orrick wrote. The Counties’ concerns that the Government will enforce the defunding provision are well supported by the Government’s public statements and actions, all of which are consistent with enforcing the Order.
In his ruling, Judge Orrick also said the president’s repeated references to Katie Steinle, who was killed by an immigrant who had been deported five times, and the sanctuary policies in San Francisco where the death occurred further show Trump has it in for the Golden State.
“These statements indicate not only the belief that San Francisco is a ‘sanctuary jurisdiction’ but that its policies are particularly dangerous and in need of change,” Orrick wrote. “They also reveal a choice by the Government to hold up San Francisco as an exemplar of a sanctuary jurisdiction.”
The White House has blasted the judge’s ruling, both via Twitter and an official White House statement. “Today, the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy for our Nation,” a statement from the Press Secretary’s office reads. Trump called it “ridiculous” in an early morning tweet.
This was the third time the Trump’s words have been used against him in a judicial ruling on his immigration executive orders. Judges in Maryland and Hawaii used statements from the President and his close aides to support their decisions to block bans on allowing individuals from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.