(ESPAÑOL) New legal rulings aim to undercut Trump’s immigration policies.
The latest ruling, issued Tuesday by a federal judge in San Francisco, blocks the new administration from threatening to revoke funds from cities that don’t cooperate with federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants.
The ruling relied on a section in the Supreme Court’s 2012 Obamacare decision that dealt a blow to the health-care law. The high court said the law unconstitutionally coerced states into expanding their Medicaid programs by threatening to strip them of trillions of dollars — or, in the words of Chief Justice John Roberts, by putting “a gun to the head.”
U.S. District Judge William Orrick said the Trump administration likewise went too far by saying it might deny hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants to San Francisco and two Northern California counties.
“States must have a ‘legitimate choice whether to accept the federal conditions in exchange for federal funds,’” Orrick wrote, quoting from Roberts’s opinion. The health-care ruling let states opt out of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, something 19 of them decided to do.
In a tweet, Trump called the ruling “ridiculous” and vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court, where his appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch has restored the court’s Republican-appointed majority.
Still, the odds may be against Trump. The other four Republican appointees — Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito — all had said Obamacare’s Medicaid rules were unconstitutional. Joining them were Democratic appointees Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill 4, or SB4, which would allow law enforcement officials to ask about a detainee’s immigration status, proceeds through the Texas legislature. Police chiefs and sheriffs could face criminal charges if they don’t help the federal government enforce immigration laws.
After 16 hours of debate, the bill passed at 3 a.m. on Thursday. It still faces several hurdles before it becomes law.