White Plains, NY – A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration's attempt to withhold federal grant funding from law enforcement agencies in sanctuary cities.
On Friday, Judge Edgardo Ramos, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, called the President’s order illegal and unconstitutional, The Hill reported.
Ramos said the federal government “did not have lawful authority” to order certain conditions for handling immigrants in order to receive the funding.
The ruling blocked the federal government from enforcing those conditions in New York, New York City, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.
The lawsuit referred to the Department of Justice’s attempt to put immigration-related conditions on grants to local law enforcement, ABC News reported.
The conditions were announced by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017, and said that in order to qualify for federal funding, local authorities had to alert federal agents when an undocumented immigrant was going to be released from state or local custody, allow federal agents to question immigrants in custody, and ensure they aren’t restricting state and local law enforcement officials from providing federal agents with information about the legal status of undocumented immigrants.
After ruling in their favor, Ramos declined the petitioners’ request for a nationwide ruling on the matter, and said that they had not shown it was necessary, The Hill reported.
“As we argued, local law enforcement has the right to decide how to meet their local public safety needs – and the Trump administration simply does not have the right to require state and local police to act as federal immigration agents,” New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said as she took credit for the win.
“The Trump administration’s attempt to withhold these vital funds was nothing more than a political attack at the expense of our public safety,” Underwood said.
“This decision requires the Trump administration to distribute these vital public safety funds — helping to ensure that our local law enforcement agencies are able to continue to determine how best to keep New Yorkers safe,” she said.
The President has continued to battle for control of the funding in various courts across the nation.
In September of 2017, a district court judge for the Northern District of Illinois issued an injunction blocking the administration from enforcing the conditions nationwide, The Hill reported.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling, but then put its nationwide scope on hold pending a review by full court.
In November of 2017, a district court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania prohibited the administration from enforcing the conditions on Philadelphia, according to The Hill.
The federal government appealed that ruling to the 3rd Circuit.
In October, a district court in California last month blocked the conditions from being enforced on the city and county of San Francisco.