Cases & Advocacy

San Francisco and Santa Clara County v. Trump Amicus

Status: Closed

Outcome: Victory

Location: Nationwide

NCLR, along with Centro Legal De La Raza, the Transgender Law Center, and El/La Para Translatinas filed an amicus brief in the federal challenges to the Trump Administration’s Executive Order threating to cut off federal funding to sanctuary jurisdictions. Sanctuary policies are community-focused policies that prioritize overall public safety by establishing the trust of the entire community.

The brief details the irreparable harms communities would suffer if forced to abandon these policies, including harms to public safety, public health, and the ability to combat discrimination and other forms of abuse, all of which are compelling government interests. The policies at issue ensure that all community members, and most urgently those most prone to exploitation and abuse, can report crimes and discrimination, and access essential services. The Executive Order would force local jurisdictions to create a permanent underclass of people with reduced access to the police and public services. Such harms are not only irreparable, they are intolerable in communities like San Francisco and Santa Clara that are home to some of the largest immigrant and LGBTQ communities in the nation.

In the underlying case, San Francisco and Santa Clara County filed federal lawsuits at the beginning of 2017 against President Donald Trump and members of his administration challenging his January 25, 2017 Executive Order through which he intends to deny all federal funding to any state or local government that he deems fails to comply with his aggressive immigration enforcement plan. The lawsuit challenges the President’s authority to unilaterally impose conditions on federal funds‚–a power the Constitution places exclusively in the hands of Congress‚–as well as the blanket denial of all federal funds, the vast majority of which have no connection to immigration or law enforcement.