World

Trump slams judge's decision to block order

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump yesterday slammed as "ridiculous" a US judge's ruling blocking an executive order that could deny billions of dollars to so-called sanctuary cities harbouring illegal immigrants.

Judge William Orrick III of San Francisco's federal court on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction barring any attempt to implement Mr Trump's Jan 25 executive order, dealing another legal blow to the administration's efforts to toughen immigration enforcement.

"First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities - both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!" Mr Trump tweeted.

The ruling from Judge Orrick said Mr Trump's order targeted broad categories of federal funding for sanctuary governments and that plaintiffs challenging the order were likely to succeed in proving it unconstitutional.

The administration suffered an earlier defeat when two federal judges suspended executive orders restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries.

The government has appealed those decisions.

Mr Reince Priebus, Mr Trump's White House Chief of Staff, said: "The idea that an agency can't put in some reasonable restrictions on how some of these monies are spent is something that will be overturned eventually."

A formal White House statement on the ruling was withering in its criticism of Judge Orrick, saying "an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy for our nation" and handed "a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country".

Sanctuary cities generally offer safe harbour to illegal immigrants and often do not use municipal funds or resources to advance the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Dozens of local governments and cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, have joined the growing "sanctuary" movement. - REUTERS

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