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Recent developments regarding sanctuary cities

California citizens, immigrants and residents have every right to be updated by reports of the current administration's position on sanctuary cities— jurisdictions practicing noncooperation with federal immigration agency requests for information or detention of certain individuals. A recent district court decision offers some good news for undocumented residents, immigrants and visa holders residing in the aforementioned jurisdictions, as well as the families of these individuals.

The White House issued the executive order in question February of 2017, citing the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as recommending additional criteria for the prioritization of deportation of certain foreign national residents. The order also sought to empower local law enforcement in immigration matters. The most relevant point to the current discussion is the attempt to reduce federal funding of sanctuary cities, disqualifying them for federal grant approval.

Immigrant advocates have challenged nearly every item in this executive order, resulting in a number of cases moving up through the judicial system. CNN reports that the recent final injunction against defunding sanctuary cities followed two such suits brought by California counties. The decision is described as a step forward for the freedom of state and municipal jurisdictions with policies protecting undocumented immigrants.

CNN also mentions preliminary injunctions on the sanctuary city order and several past decisions blocking the president's travel bans. Recent legal outcomes seem to suggest a trend of judicial resistance to hardline immigration policies, but concerned citizens, resident aliens, undocumented individuals and visa holders of all types could benefit from continued attention to higher court decisions.

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