Sanctuary cities

Sanders doubles down on Trump's "animals" comment

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday defended President Trump's comment when he referred to MS-13 gang members as "animals," explaining it was not in reference to unauthorized immigrants.

"The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter the country illegally and whose deportations are hamstrung by our laws. ... If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13 they're more than welcome to. Frankly, I don't think the term the president used is strong enough."
— Sanders to reporters at a press briefing

Judge deals a blow to Trump's "sanctuary cities" order

Department of Homeland Security police officers stand guard in front of a Los Angeles Immigration Court building during a rally against an arrest by ICE agents.
DHS police stand guard in front of an LA Immigration Court building. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge has sided with the city of Los Angeles and issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting the Justice Department from tying the allocation of federal grants to the participation of local police departments in helping enforce federal immigration laws.

Why it matters: The ruling is a significant blow to President Trump's executive order, signed last year, which threatened to withhold certain federal funds from "sanctuary cities." This is the latest in a string of judicial setbacks by federal courts that have temporarily reined in the administration's various efforts to impose and enforce stricter immigration laws.