A US judge has blocked an executive order that seeks to withhold funds from so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ – areas where local policies have been put in place to protect undocumented migrants.
It is another legal blow to the controversial immigration policies of President Donald Trump and his administration. The White House say it expects the Justice Department to appeal the ruling.
New York and Los Angeles are among the jurisdictions who have enacted policies. Sanctuary cities generally offer safe harbor to illegal immigrants and often do not use municipal funds or resources to advance the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Executive orders restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries have already been suspended by judges.
Meanwhile, the threat of a government shutdown in the the US this weekend appears to be fading. Trump’s backed away from a demand that Congress include funding for a border wall with Mexico in a spending bill.
Democrats had threatened to pull support for the bill if such money was included.
But Trump is not giving up on the wall.
“The wall is going to get built, folks. In case anybody has any question, the wall is going to get built,” he affirmed.
“And the wall is going to stop drugs and it’s going to stop a lot of people from coming in that shouldn’t be here and it’s going to have a huge effect on human trafficking, which is a tremendous problem in this world, a problem that nobody talks about. But it’s a problem that’s probably worse than at any time in the history of this world.”
Mexico’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that his government considered the building of the wall a “hostile” act. He also repeated that his country would contribute nothing towards it.
But President Trump still insists that Mexico will ultimately foot the bill.