A federal judge ruled last week that the Trump administration cannot withhold federal money from cities to punish them for refusing to cooperate with immigration authorities.
In his ruling, Northern California District Judge William Orrick — an Obama appointee — permanently blocked the policy and said it was “unduly coercive and violated the separation of powers.
“The defunding provision instructs the Attorney General and the Secretary to do something that only Congress has the authority to do — place new conditions on federal funds,” Orrick wrote.
The Pasadena City Council passed a resolution declaring that it would not work with immigration officials, but stopped short of declaring itself a sanctuary city.
The Pasadena Unified School District and several local churches have declared themselves sanctuaries.
Sanctuary cities refuse to share information with Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agents. However, city officials cannot stop ICE from arresting people in the country illegally.
On Feb. 9, ICE agents detained Carlos Ortiz. The agents allegedly came to his home claiming to be police officers and looking for someone named Rodrigo, according to Ortiz’s daughter, Stephanie.
After being told no one by that name lived in the home, the agents asked to see Carlos Ortiz’s immigration papers and took him into custody after determining that Ortiz had been deported in 1999 and then re-entered the country illegally.
ICE agents notified the Pasadena Police Department after Ortiz was arrested, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez told the Pasadena Weekly. The local police were not involved in the operation, Sanchez said.
President Trump’s immigration policies have been at the forefront of the national conversation. During the campaign, Trump promised to ban Muslims from entering the country and vowed to build a wall between the US and Mexico. He also promised to deport millions of immigrants living in the country illegally.
“They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with them,” Trump said during the campaign. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
Since Trump’s inauguration, social media has been filled with false claims of ICE raids in Pasadena.
According to data released by ICE in August, federal agents deported 84,472 people — or about 16,900 people a month — between Feb. 1 and June 30. If those numbers held up until Sept. 30, they would pale in comparison to deportations even at the slowest pace during the Obama administration.
In the 2016 fiscal year, ICE removed 240,255 people from the country — more than 20,000 per month.
In 2012, ICE removed roughly 34,000 people per month.