A Federal Appellate court handed President Trump a huge win in his battle against sanctuary cities – now he can legally withhold millions in federal grants until states and cities cooperate with U.S. immigration enforcement.
The appeals rulings pertains to the over $250 million in federal funding for state and local criminal justice efforts congress hands out annually.
Fox LA reported that the Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars in law enforcement grants to force states to cooperate with U.S. immigration enforcement, a federal appeals court in New York ruled Wednesday in a decision that conflicted with three other federal appeals courts.
The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan overturned a lower court’s decision ordering the administration to release funding to New York City and seven states — New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia and Rhode Island.
The states and city sued the U.S. government after the Justice Department announced in 2017 that it would withhold grant money from cities and states until they gave federal immigration authorities access to jails and provide advance notice when someone in the country illegally is about to be released.
Before the change, cities and states seeking grant money were required only to show they were not preventing local law enforcement from communicating with federal authorities about the immigration status of people who were detained.
At the time, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: “So-called ‘sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes.”
The 2nd Circuit said the plain language of relevant laws make clear that the U.S. attorney general can impose conditions on states and municipalities receiving money.
It also noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that the federal government maintains broad power over states when it comes to immigration policies.
During the past 2 years, federal appeals courts in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco have ruled against the federal government by upholding lower-court injunctions placed on the enforcement of some or all of the challenged conditions.