politics

Sanctuary Cities Protected By Judge Who Says President’s Executive Order Is Inconsistent With Law

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The productivity of President Trump’s first 100 days has come into question quite a bit recently. While it has been an eventful time for the young administration, it has also been served many political defeats. Today, Trump’s administration faced another setback as an executive order that would deny federal funding to sanctuary cities was temporarily blocked, Politico reports. The decision came after both San Francisco and Santa Clara filed lawsuits against President Trump’s executive orders.

According to The New York Times, the latest injunction was handed down by William Orrick, a Judge from United States District Court for the Northern District of California.


According to Judge Orrick, the scope of the executive order, which would penalize cities that protect their undocumented population, had a broader reach than federal law allows, the Washington Post reports. In short, the President cannot withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities, because the funds were not allocated by Congress under these conditions in the first place.

According to Politico, Judge Orrick released a statement on the issue, saying that comments from both President Trump and Attorney General Sessions would violate the conditions set by congress as it relates to allocating funds. Adding:

If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments. The Constitution vests the spending power in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds.

According to the Washington Post, Judge Orrick doubled down on his opinion, saying:

The defunding provision is entirely inconsistent with law in its stated purpose and directives because it instructs the Attorney General and the Secretary to do something that only Congress has the authority to do–place new conditions on federal funds.

The Washington Post also mentions that many of the preexisting grants have no ties to conditions based on immigration or law enforcement.

Some pro-Trump people feel the judge’s interpretation goes too far.


Their main argument is that sanctuary cities protect criminals, or that because Judge Orrick was appointed by former President Obama, that his motives are likely biased.

Others pointed out that the judge was well within his jurisdiction.

However, the injunction doesn’t completely prevent President Trump from enacting future measures from targeting sanctuary cities.


The point of contention for Judge Orrick is that President Trump is trying to rewrite, or undermine current laws that were enacted by Congress. If the President could do this, the Washington Post points out, he could use excessive power to force cities into unlawful compromises. Moving forward, the government still has the power to designate cities as sanctuary cities, putting them in the crosshairs of future legislation. And, as it sees fit, the government can still determine whether or not a city can receive funding if that city is in violation of preexisting legal conditions.

[h/t] Washington Post: Federal court rules against Trump’s executive order targeting sanctuary cities

READ: President Trumps Deportation Demands Are Putting ICE And Border Patrol Into Compromising Positions

Ted Cruz Just Went After This Cartel Leader To Get Funds For Trump's Wall

Politics

Ted Cruz Just Went After This Cartel Leader To Get Funds For Trump’s Wall

GAGE SKIDMORE / FLICKR / FOX AND FRIENDS

Former Sinaloa drug cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s net worth has been the stuff of legend for years. While the exact amount has not been confirmed, in 2009, Forbes reportedly put his net worth at over a billion dollars. It appears Senator Ted Cruz has been paying attention to the reports. He recently introduced the “El Chapo Act,” which would seize the assets of Chapo, which Cruz estimates at $14 billion, to pay for the Trump’s wall.

Senator Cruz appeared on morning show “Fox & Friends” to explain the “El Chapo Act” to the hosts.


During the short segment, Senator Cruz explained that the best way to pay for the wall was by seizing El Chapo’s fortune.

“The estimates are that his criminal fortune is roughly worth about $14 billion dollars. Now, coincidentally, the estimates for the cost to build the wall range from $14 to $20 billion dollars. And so my legislation provides that if those assets are forfeited, those assets from El Chapo, will go directly to building a wall and securing the border.”

The hosts called Cruz’s act “genius” because it would “indirectly” force Mexico to pay for the wall. Cause you know, drug dealers are inherently Mexico.

While it is a convenient figure, where Senator Cruz got the $14 billion dollar figure remains a source of contention.


As Dolia Estevez reported for Forbes back in January, the Department of Justice wanted to seize $14 billion from El Chapo, a figure for which they could provide no hard evidence for at the time. Former Drug Enforcement Administration CEO David Gaddis, as Forbes reported, said that number was “a cumulative figure” that was “based on his drug trafficking enterprise.” However, other experts interviewed for the article, said that while El Chapo was likely still a billionaire, $14 billion was “too high” of an estimate.

Senator Cruz also addressed concerns about El Chapo’s net worth during his brief segment.

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GAGE SKIDMORE / FLICKR

Though he didn’t provide any data to back up his figures, Senator Cruz assured the viewers that El Chapo’s assets were there. When asked, “how can you secure his assets? I mean, does [El Chapo] have this in a bank account – $14 billion dollars?” Cruz responded, saying:

Well, [the assets] are scattered worldwide. But the government right now has extradited El Chapo from Mexico – is proceeding with a criminal prosecution. The first step is to convict him. Once he is convicted, the government is seeking the forfeiture of $14 billion dollars, and the government will go and prove where the assets are.

Senator Cruz then went on to explain to the hosts of “Fox & Friends” where money seized from cartel leaders would normally go.

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FOX AND FRIENDS / FOX NEWS CHANNEL

Senator Cruz explained that his Act would ensure that future funds seized from cartels would go to border security, saying:

“Ordinarily that money goes to the treasury for certain specified uses – border security is not among those uses. So my legislation is very simple. It says that El Chapo’s assets, and for that matter, any other drug cartel whose assets are forfeited – there money would go to building the wall and keeping the border secure for the country.”

After the announcement of his Act, Twitter users took sides. Those who supported it couldn’t get enough of the sweet irony of having Mexican cartel leaders pay for border security.


The sentiment on the pro-Cruz side saw the “El Chapo Act” as a way to hit the cartels where it hurt while not taking any cash out of the taxpayer’s pockets.

While using the cartel leader’s funds to build a wall provides a nice twist of irony, many people were quick to point out that the money could be better spent.


Aside from allocating funds for underfunded programs in the U.S., many were skeptical the government could even find the funds it claims El Chapo has.

So what do you think about the “El Chapo Act”?


[H/T] Forbes: Does Mexican Drug Lord El Chapo Guzmán Have The $14 Billion The U.S. Wants From Him?

Read: El Chapo Says Solitary Confinement Is Affecting His Mental And Physical Health

How would you spend that money? Leave a comment below to let us know!

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