Massachusetts sanctuary cities like Cambridge and Somerville scored a victory on Tuesday after a federal judge blocked President Donald Trump's attempt to withhold funding from cities that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials.
"This isn’t the first time the courts have interceded in what I would describe as an attack on documented and undocumented community members in this country by the Trump Administration," said Cambridge Vice Mayor Marc McGovern.
The President has promised to punish cities that typically don’t report undocumented residents to immigration authorities unless they’re involved in certain crimes.
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"I don’t think sanctuary cities should be punished," said Cambridge resident Erin Taylor. "They’re not breaking any laws."
U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the preliminary injunction in two lawsuits - one brought by the city of San Francisco, the other by Santa Clara County - against an executive order targeting communities that protect immigrants from deportation.
The injunction will stay in place while the lawsuits work their way through court.
The judge rejected the administration's argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.
"I think in many ways the Trump Administration has been neutered a little bit on these unconstitutional moves," said Cambridge City Council member Nadeem Mazen.
Cambridge City Councilor Craig Kelley said he thinks the ruling was the right decision.
"It's good for a whole lot of people. It allows cities like Cambridge to continue to serve the people that we need to serve the most. It's a fabulous decision," said Kelley.
If the Trump Administration is eventually successful in its intentions, withholding federal money would cost Cambridge up to $15M, money that helps with everything from housing programs to school lunches.
"It would pinch and we would have to find those resources elsewhere," said Kelley, who also sits on the council.