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California and San Francisco Governments Sue DOJ

The state of California and the city of San Francisco have become the latest entities to file lawsuits against the Department of Justice (DOJ), following DOJ’s announced plan to make the majority of federal law enforcement grants contingent upon localities agreeing to “allow federal immigration officers access to local prisons and also provide federal authorities with advance notice when prisoners in the country illegally are slated to be released.”

Earlier this month, the city of Chicago filed a similar lawsuit.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra called the DOJ requirements “a low blow to our men and women who wear the badge,” saying the federal government was threatening the states’ “crime-fighting resources in order to force them to do the work of the federal government when it comes to immigration enforcement.”

At the same press conference, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said, "This is a back-door attempt to coerce states and local governments to carry out federal immigration enforcement. Our police and deputies are focused on fighting crime, not breaking up hardworking families."

The lawsuit claims DOJ’s new federal grant conditions "do not appear in any federal statute, and they do not reflect the will of Congress in appropriating funds. To the contrary, the new conditions are simply the latest attempt by the Trump Administration to coerce state and local jurisdictions into carrying out the federal government’s immigration enforcement priorities."

The primary grants that would be impacted are those associated with the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Programs, which is the “leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions” and “provides states, tribes, and local governments with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, crime victim and witness initiatives, and mental health programs and related law enforcement and corrections programs.”

As PoliceOne.com notes, “A judge in April blocked Trump's executive order aimed at withholding funding from sanctuary cities, saying the president could not set new conditions on spending approved by Congress. But the Justice Department said it still could condition some of its grants to force cities to cooperate with immigration authorities.”

Posted in General News

Tags: ICE, CBP, DOJ, lawsuit, prison

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