things that matter

A Federal Court Ruled That Trump Cannot Withhold Federal Funds From Sanctuary Cities

A federal appeals court has ruled that President Donald Trump exercised executive overreach when he signed an executive order threatening to withhold funds from “sanctuary cities” if they don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials. The decision, issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, only applies to California, which is home to several “sanctuary cities” and counties. Nonetheless the court decision was a small victory for the Trump administration, as a 2 to 1 court vote lifted the nationwide ban against the implementation of the 2017 executive order.

The ruling is a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to punish cities and states that fail to help enforce federal immigration law.

The case stemmed from an executive order issued by President Trump shortly after taking office last year. He directed his administration to withhold federal funds from “sanctuary cities.” The 9th Circuit said Trump exceeded his authority because only Congress can put conditions on federal funds.

“Absent congressional authorization, the administration may not redistribute or withhold properly appropriated funds in order to effectuate its own policy goals,” Chief Judge Sidney Thomas wrote for the majority.

 The decision is a victory for immigration advocates in their ongoing battle with the Trump administration.

The Trump administration has repeatedly argued that “sanctuary cities” and states allow dangerous criminals to live among law-abiding citizens. However, immigrant communities have been proven to have lower crime rates. City officials in San Francisco say turning local police into immigration officers erases trust needed to get people to report crime.

Members of Congress are calling the threat to defund sanctuary cities politically motivated.

“Put simply, the president cannot use the threat of defunding as a weapon to force local governments to abandon politics that make their communities safer,” Counsel James R. Williams told The Boston Herald.

California state Sen. Kevin de León echoed the same response saying the Trump administration cannot overrule the courts ruling.

Hundreds of cities, counties and states have become sanctuary jurisdictions to preserve the integrity of their communities.

The term “sanctuary city” is used to refer to local jurisdictions (not just cities but counties and sometimes states) that don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials to find and deport unauthorized immigrants. According to The Ohio Jobs & Justice Political Action Committee, there is an estimated 500 jurisdictions that are sanctuary cities in the U.S.

The battle for “sanctuary cities” is far from over and it is immigrant communities that are at most risk.

Last month, a federal judge in Sacramento largely rejected a challenge by the Trump administration of three statewide California sanctuary laws. In April, a federal judge in Los Angeles sided with the city in a ruling that said the administration could not consider sanctuary policies in parsing out police grants. While the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on the sanctuary policies, many believe that is where this case is heading. The Trump administration has yet to comment on whether it intends to appeal the decision.


READ: Trump Threatens Once Again To Shutdown The Government If He Doesn’t Get His Billions For The Border Wall

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An Arizona Detention Worker With HIV Has Been Charged With Molesting Eight Children

Things That Matter

An Arizona Detention Worker With HIV Has Been Charged With Molesting Eight Children

southwestkey / Instagram

Migrant children in detention centers have been speaking up about their experiences as they get reunited with their families. There have been stories of abuse and forced labor have caught national attention. One detention center in Mesa, Arizona has become the latest focus as stories of sexual assault are coming to light. First, 32-year-old Fernando Magaz Negrete, an employee at the detention center, was accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. Now, Levian Pacheco, a 25-year-old employee at the same facility who is HIV-positive, has been accused of molesting eight teenage boys.

Levian Pacheco, a Southwest Key employee in Mesa, Arizona has been charged with molesting eight children inside a detention center.

According to ProPublica, 25-year-old Pacheco was arraigned for molesting eight children under several charges, but also doing so while being HIV-positive. Pacheco’s crimes took place August 2016 and July 2017 at a Southwest Key facility in Mesa, Arizona. Southwest Key receives funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Pacheco has been charged with 11 sex offenses, and the accusations include forced oral sex.

Court documents show that Pacheco is being accused of performing oral sex “on two of the teenagers and tried to force one of them to penetrate him anally.” The other six teenagers that range between 15 and 17 allege that Pacheco “groped them through their clothing,” ProPublica reports.

Court documents also show that Pacheco was working with children for four months even though Southwest Key had not done a background check on him.

https://twitter.com/erinl/status/1025402847582511104

“These are vulnerable children in difficult circumstances, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement at US Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families treats our responsibility for each child with the utmost care,” HHS spokesman Kenneth Wolfe said to ProPublica. “Any allegation of abuse or neglect is taken seriously.”

This is just the latest report of molestations occurring inside Southwest Key centers. There have been several more.

These two cases are not the only ones. Several cases of molestation at detention centers have also been reported.

Recently a 6-year-old child that was separated from her mother was forced to sign a form which reported that she had been molested by another child inside a Southwest Key detention center.


READ: Separated Children Say Life In Detention Centers Included Cleaning Toilets, No Crying, And Daily Threats

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