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Published On: Thu, Feb 27th, 2020

Court sides with Trump to withhold funds from Sanctuary Cities

A federal appeals court held Wednesday that the Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars in grants to states that set up Sanctuary Cities and refuse to work with federal immigration authorities.

The Associated Press reported that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan made the ruling Wednesday morning, overturning a lower court decision that said the federal government had to release law enforcement grants to states that refused to cooperate with the federal government when it came to criminal illegal immigrants.

The Trump administration previously had refused to release the funding to seven states and New York City over their Sanctuary City policies: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.

“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,” the AP reported. “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.”

“Today’s decision rightfully recognizes the lawful authority of the Attorney General to ensure that Department of Justice grant recipients are not at the same time thwarting federal law enforcement priorities,” a DOJ spokesman said in a statement. “The grant conditions here require states and cities that receive DOJ grants to share information about criminals in custody.  The federal government uses this information to enforce national immigration laws–policies supported by successive Democrat and Republican administrations.”

“All Americans will benefit from increased public safety as this Administration is able to implement its lawful immigration and public safety policies,” the statement said.

photo/ donkeyhotey

“These conditions help the federal government enforce national immigration laws and policies supported by successive Democratic and Republican administrations,” the court ruled. “But more to the authorization point, they ensure that applicants satisfy particular statutory grant requirements imposed by Congress and subject to Attorney General oversight.”

It also disagreed with the district court’s claim that the conditions intrude on powers reserved only to states, noting that in immigration policy the Supreme Court has found that the federal government maintains “broad” and “preeminent” power.

The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Howell, a former member of Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Legal Counsel, told Fox News that the ruling is potentially an important development considering the dependence of states like New York on DOJ grant money.

“When you look at the amount of money that flows in via grants generally, the federal government has a lot of power over states and localities,” he said. “If you open the door to the federal government being able to condition that grant money, it’s a huge deal.”

Sanctuary policies generally forbid local law enforcement from honoring detainers — requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that they be alerted to of an illegal immigrant’s release from custody so they can be be picked up by ICE and put through deportation proceedings.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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