Portland is no longer at risk of losing millions in federal grant dollars for refusing to do the work of federal immigration officers.
A Wednesday federal ruling made by a Washington state judge found that neither Seattle nor Portland can be denied federal funding for identifying as a so-called "sanctuary city"—a threat made many moons ago by Donald Trump.
If you recall, five days after Trump slid into the White House he signed an executive order declaring that jurisdictions that "willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States" aren't eligible for federal grants "except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes" by federal officials.
Now, nearly two years after Trump signed the order, it's been ruled unconstitutional. To get into specifics, Judge Richard Jones ruled that the executive branch of the federal government is not allowed to deny federal grants. (The legislative branch, however, is allowed to do this.)
This ruling follows a similar decision made in a San Francisco federal court in August, which also overturned Trump's anti-sanctuary order in the city.
“This is a clear victory for the City of Portland and the rule of law,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler in a statement. “We will continue to work with our partner cities to protect our residents and build stronger relationships with the immigrant community.”
According to city attorneys, Portland did not lose any grant funding through this temporary executive order.
Portland abides by the same sanctuary rules that the state follows—ones dictated in a state ordinance passed 30 years ago.
The 1987 law reads: "No law enforcement agency of the State of Oregon or of any political subdivision of the state shall use agency moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws."
On November 6, Oregon voters will decide whether that state sanctuary ordinance should remain intact through a ballot measure. Learn how our editorial board suggests you vote here.