The Trump administration tried to block millions of dollars in federal funding to jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement.
Several “sanctuary” states sued the federal government and a New York court ordered the administration to release the funds.
A federal appeals court ruled that the administration can’t be forced to waive conditions attached to federal grant money.
This is a big win for the administration, which is fed up with states, cities and counties defying the law while claiming federal funds.
(NewsReady.com) – The administration won a major battle against so-called sanctuary laws on Wednesday, when a federal appeals court decided the government can deny funding to states that try to shelter illegal immigrants from law enforcement. The ruling overturned an earlier one from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, which ordered the government to release up to $250 million to jurisdictions that run sanctuary laws.
Since President Trump’s election, he’s worked hard to protect Americans from sanctuary laws, which prohibit state or local law enforcement from either dealing with illegal immigrants themselves or cooperating with federal immigration officers. Up to now, states have been able to openly defy federal immigration laws while benefiting from federal funding.
The president has set out to change that – but he’s facing furious opposition from liberal politicians and activist judges.
This case was sparked when New York City and several liberal states sued the federal government for the release of funds from a grant program. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program awards over $250 million a year to state and local justice programs, and the Trump administration had decided none of it was going to sanctuary cities.
Unfortunately, an activist judge at the NY District Court disagreed, and ruled in favor of the states. Now the 2nd US Court of Appeals has reversed that decision. The Department of Justice welcomed the news, pointing out that, “The grant conditions here require states and cities that receive DOJ grants to share information about criminals in custody.”
This, obviously, is a condition that sanctuary cities and states refuse to meet, as the appeals court recognized. The judgment said the court “cannot agree” the government should be prevented from imposing the conditions attached to grant money.
The ruling runs against previous similar cases, where federal appeals courts have upheld demands to release funds to sanctuary states. That means there’s likely to be an appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has already found that immigration policy isn’t reserved to the states, and that the federal government has “preeminent” power over the matter. That’s exactly what the Trump administration has been saying, and this ruling is a step towards making it an effective reality.
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