Trump Can Withhold Sanctuary City Funds

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from the Washington Free Beacon:

In Victory For Trump, Appeals Court Says Feds Can Withhold Grants From Sanctuary Cities

Ruling could tee up Supreme Court battle

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The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration can withhold federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions for refusing to cooperate with immigration authorities in a decision that will likely trigger a Supreme Court review.

A number of cities have challenged the Justice Department policy that would withhold federal law enforcement grants from cities that refuse to cooperate with illegal immigration enforcement. The Second Circuit ruled against New York City’s challenge to the policy, but three other appeals courts have upheld injunctions that required the Trump administration to disperse the contested funds. The split between the circuit courts increases the likelihood that the issue will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, as justices generally take cases featuring questions over which multiple courts disagree.

“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 Justice Department 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 spokesman said. “The federal government uses this information to enforce national immigration laws—policies supported by successive Democrat and Republican administrations.”

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program distributes $250 million annually to support local law enforcement. The Justice Department in 2017 imposed three immigration-enforcement conditions on recipients of those funds. Beneficiaries were required to comply with a federal law that says government entities may not “prohibit, or in any way restrict” information-sharing with immigration authorities. The policy also required local authorities to give notice of an incarcerated alien’s release date on request, as well as ensure that federal immigration agents have access to jails and other facilities to question migrants or suspected aliens.

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