Published: Thu, February 27, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Court sides with Trump in 'sanctuary cities' grant fight

Court sides with Trump in 'sanctuary cities' grant fight

A federal appeals court in NY says the Trump administration can withhold law enforcement grants to force states and cities to cooperate with USA immigration enforcement.

In the decision, Judge Reena Raggi said the case "implicates several of the most divisive issues confronting our country" including immigration policy and law enforcement, illegal immigrants, and the ability of state and local governments to adopt policies the federal government dislikes.

All of those states sued the Trump administration for withholding over the Justice Department's April, 2017 letters "requiring proof of compliance" with USA immigration law for funding.

Such 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. "But more to the authorization point, they ensure that applicants satisfy particular statutory grant requirements imposed by Congress and subject to Attorney General oversight".

"We can not agree that the federal government must be enjoined from imposing the challenged conditions on the federal grants here at issue", Justice Reena Raggi, a President George W. Bush appointee, wrote in the opinion (pdf).

Well, the Trump administration appealed that decision, and today, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals made their decision, and it went the president's way. United States, the court held that the federal government maintains "broad" and "preeminent" power in deciding immigration policy and States local governments are prohibited from pursuing "policies that undermine federal law".

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The Second Circuit determined that the attorney general was able to place the conditions on the funds under the "considerable authority" given to him by Congress under relevant federal law.

Those states are New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia and Rhode Island. The case is No. 19-267 NY v. U.S. Department of Justice. "While today's ruling is a major victory for Americans, its full scope will not be realized until the practices of granting nationwide injunctions and associational injunctions are stopped, as certain cities that are parties to this judgment may nonetheless use rulings from other courts to evade these lawful conditions", the spokesperson said.

"President Trump's latest retaliation against his hometown takes away security funding from the number one terrorist target in America - all because we refuse to play by his arbitrary rules", New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

Cody Wofsy, a employees attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, called the final decision a "genuine outlier", expressing he believed the 2nd Circuit was the nation's to start with court docket to facet with the Trump administration on the concern.

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program distributes $250 million annually to support local law enforcement.

Byrne was a New York City police officer shot to death at age 22 in 1988 while guarding the home of a Guyanese immigrant helping authorities investigate drug trafficking.

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