Federal Judge Blocks DOJ From Ending Grant Funds to Sanctuary Cities

Bomb on London Subway Leaves 29 Hurt at Rush Hour

Bomb on London Subway Leaves 29 Hurt at Rush Hour

A federal judge issued a ruling Friday that blocks the Justice Department from requiring cities to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in order to be considered eligible for federal law enforcement grants.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber granted the city's request for a preliminary injunction to prevent those first two conditions from going into effect.

A judge blocked the Justice Department's attempt to withhold law enforcement funding from so-called sanctuary cities. Leinenweber considered new restrictions placed on the grants in July.

The U.S. Department of Justice will not be permitted to withhold grant funds from cities that refuse to assist federal immigration officials to pursue suspected undocumented immigrants, a judge ruled Friday. The matter has been a subject of constant legal challenges and wrangling ever since; in April, a federal judge in San Francisco similarly ruled against the administration, as did a federal judge in Texas just last month.

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"By protecting criminals from immigration enforcement, cities and states with "so-called" sanctuary policies make their communities less safe and undermine the rule of law".

President Donald Trump has made tougher immigration enforcement a centerpiece of his campaign and presidency, along with a pledge to build a wall on the US-Mexican border.

"The harm to the city's relationship with the immigrant community, if it should accede to the conditions, is irreparable", Leinenweber wrote.

As part of that policy, the Justice Department has sought to punish cities and other local jurisdictions that have joined a growing "sanctuary" movement aimed at shielding illegal immigrants from stepped-up deportation efforts. "The city's leaders can not follow some laws and ignore others and reasonably expect this horrific situation to improve".

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With the White House seeking to curb immigration across the nation, cities have found themselves on the front lines of a dispute over public safety.

Trump wrote on Twitter that a new immigration bill cannot include "chain migration", a term that advocates of limiting immigrants use to describe how new USA citizens can sponsor family members in obtaining legal status.

The opinion comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the city of Chicago against the DOJ, which is trying to make grants contingent on cities notifying federal officials when undocumented immigrants are soon-to-be-released from local jails and giving the feds access to those jails. A judge agreed that the city had a good case and issued the injunction covering the entire country.

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