The Trump administration has just lost its appeal in a sanctuary city case. For the second time a federal judge has ruled in favor of the city of Philadelphia and against the Trump administration’s attempts to punish the sanctuary city and/or coerce the city into fully complying with federal immigration authorities by withholding federal grant money. After losing the original case last year, the Trump administration appealed the decision, an appeal which they have now lost. In today’s ruling, the judge declared that Trump’s policy “violates statutory and constitutional law”, while Philadelphia, on the other hand, is being “reasonable, rational,” and “equitable” in its policy of not fully complying with federal immigration authorities. According to The Hill:
A federal judge on Wednesday ruled in favor of the city of Philadelphia over whether the Trump administration could withhold law enforcement grants over city officials’ “sanctuary city” policies. The Philly Inquirer reported that a federal judge said the Trump administration’s policy to withhold certain law enforcement grants based on local immigration policies “violates statutory and constitutional law,” and said that the city’s policy of not complying fully with federal immigration authorities was “reasonable, rational,” and “equitable.” The verdict follows a similar ruling from a different federal judge over Philadelphia’s policy last year. That judge found that the city proved withholding the grants would cause “irreparable damage” to the city’s law enforcement abilities. The Department of Justice (DOJ) appealed that judge’s ruling in January, setting up Wednesday’s decision. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to use law enforcement grants as a way to coerce cities and municipalities sanctuary city policies to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, a policy that has set off a string of lawsuits in blue and purple states around the country.
President Trump seems to be having a lot of troubles with Philadelphia this week. First, in a petulant tantrum, Trump cancelled an event for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles because few Eagles players were going to attend, which backfired on Trump in the press and in public opinion. Then Trump was quite cleverly and completely bashed by Philadelphia’s mayor regarding his cancellation of the Eagles event. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement, according to The Hill, regarding Trump cancelling the Eagles event that “Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend.” And now Trump has lost his appeal in the Philadelphia sanctuary city case. Philadelphia 3, Trump 0.