Debates over sanctuary cities have become heated since before Mr. Trump was even elected. Trump spoke at a Phoenix rally in September 2016 saying that police jurisdictions would have to give up their policies protecting undocumented immigrants or face the loss of federal funding. Trump has taken a hard-core stance on immigration and made his campaign about building a wall.
This issue prompted the city of Los Angeles to sue the Department of Justice over the mandate that cities would have to comply with federal immigration policies in order for law enforcement departments to receive grants for community-oriented policing.
On Thursday, a federal judge ruled that the DOJ cannot make cooperation with federal immigration policies a consideration for the grant funding. According to Bloomberg:
‘The ruling in a lawsuit Los Angeles brought against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions marks a new setback in President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on sanctuary cities where police forces have refused to get involved in enforcing immigration law.’
‘U.S. District Judge Manuel Real agreed in a ruling Wednesday with the city’s argument that the Justice Department had abused its power by awarding bonus points to grant applicants that commit to cooperating with federal immigration authorities and policies. The grant program was created to help local police departments hire officers for community-oriented policing, or COPS.’
Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said:
‘The department has the lawful discretion to give additional consideration for jurisdictions that prioritize the safety of their communities and their law enforcement officers when they promise to cooperate with federal immigration authorities seeking information about illegal aliens who have committed crimes.’
O’Malley went on to say:
‘Unfortunately, the court not only rejected this common-sense conclusion, but it chose to issue a permanent nationwide injunction that is overbroad and inconsistent with the rule of law. We look forward to continuing the strong defense of our position.’
The city of San Francisco sued the DOJ over the president’s executive order withholding federal funding from sanctuary jurisdictions and defeated the order.
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