Philadelphia sued the U.S. Attorney General after the Justice Department tried to withhold a law enforcement grant on the basis that the city's policy of not aiding immigration authorities in certain cases violated the grant's conditions.
The three-judge panel upheld most of the District Judge Michael Baylson's ruling in the city's lawsuit against the Justice Department, ruling there was no authority to impose such conditions on the city. Writing for the panel, Judge Midge Rendell acknowledged the case was "complicated" by "the stark contrast in the priorities of the City and those of the Executive Branch regarding immigration policy."
In an emailed statement, Mayor Jim Kenney said the ruling affirms the city's right to welcome all who seek safe haven. He took the opportunity to swipe at the president's national emergency declaration as, in his word, "bogus."
In response to the ruling, the Justice Department emailed the following statement to KYW Newsradio:
"The policies of sanctuary jurisdictions endanger communities and innocent Americans all across this country, and this decision does not change that simple fact. While we are pleased that the court vacated an overbroad portion of the district court’s injunction, we are disappointed with the ultimate outcome of the decision. We are closely evaluating this decision and considering our options."