SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration will not immediately have to award California a grant being withheld over concerns the state is a sanctuary for people in the country illegally, a federal judge said Monday.
The amount of money at issue – $1 million – was relatively small and was at this point only delayed, not denied, U.S. District Judge William Orrick said. While he rejected the state’s request for a preliminary injunction to turn over the money, he also rejected a request by the U.S. Department of Justice to dismiss California’s lawsuit.
The judge said the suit raised “weighty and novel constitutional issues” that would benefit from additional argument.
Many cities in the U.S., and some states, have implemented so-called sanctuary laws encouraging law enforcement to focus resources on local crime rather than detaining people suspected of being in the country illegally. Defenders of the practices say they improve public safety by promoting trust among law enforcement and immigrant communities and reserve scarce police resources for urgent crime-fighting needs.