President Donald Trump announced Thursday his administration will begin withholding federal funding from sanctuary cities after a federal appeals court last week ruled in his favor.
The president did not specify when the fund-withholding process would begin.
“As per recent Federal Court ruling, the Federal Government will be withholding funds from Sanctuary Cities. They should change their status and go non-Sanctuary. Do not protect criminals!” Trump tweeted.
As per recent Federal Court ruling, the Federal Government will be withholding funds from Sanctuary Cities. They should change their status and go non-Sanctuary. Do not protect criminals!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2020
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled on Feb. 26 that the Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars in federal law enforcement grants to cities and states that refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement officials by releasing information about the immigration status of alleged or convicted criminals.
The ruling overturned a lower court decision that ordered the administration to release funding to sanctuary cities and states, whether or not they cooperate with immigration officials.
Following the court’s decision, Judge Reena Raggi wrote for the three-judge panel that “we cannot agree that the federal government must be enjoined from imposing the challenged conditions on the federal grants here at issue.”
“These conditions help the federal government enforce national immigration laws and policies supported by successive Democratic and Republican administrations,” Raggi went on.
“But more to the authorization point, they ensure that applicants satisfy particular statutory grant requirements imposed by Congress and subject to Attorney General oversight.”
A Department of Justice spokesperson told The New York Times that the court’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.”
The Department of Justice first announced in 2017 it would begin withholding grant money from cities and states until they agreed to give federal immigration authorities access to jails and provide advance notice when someone in its custody who is in the country illegally would be released from jail.
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.”
In response to the Justice Department decision, the federal government was sued by seven states and New York City.
Federal appeals courts in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco previously ruled in favor of sanctuary states New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia and Rhode Island — and New York City.
Federal law requires local governments to cooperate with immigration officials by sharing information about the immigration status of people they arrest or convict of crimes.
Trump announced in February his administration would be sending 100 border patrol officers to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in cities across the country, The New York Times reported.
The cities included Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco and Newark, New Jersey.
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