Early Arrival: Court Sides with Trump Over Withholding Sanctuary City Funds

February 28, 2020

The Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars from law enforcement agencies in states and cities — including New York — that resist assisting the federal government in immigration enforcement, a federal appeals court ruled. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan found that the Trump administration is allowed to impose conditions on the release of the federal funding, which comes in the form of grants. Three other appeals courts previously sided with a lower court’s ruling that it was unlawful for the White House to tie the grant money to cooperation with federal authorities.

Justice Department officials celebrated their victory. “Today’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,” Alexei Woltornist, a Justice Department spokesman, said. The ruling comes as the Trump administration continues totarget New York and New Jersey for both states’ resistance to assisting the federal government’s immigration enforcement efforts. 

“President Trump’s latest retaliation against his hometown takes away security funding from the number one terrorist target in America, all because we refuse to play by his arbitrary rules,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said in a statement. New York City received about $4 million per year through the funding the administration is attempting to withhold. The states involved in the New York case may be able to request a review of the ruling from the full Second Circuit or Supreme Court. The New York Times


Advocates Sue ICE Over Sanctuary Fines

In the summer of 2019, multiple women living in sanctuary received notice that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was intending to seek hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines from each of them. Immigrant rights groups sued ICE on Wednesday seeking answers about how and why the Trump administration levied six-figure fines against sanctuary leaders. The notices were abruptly withdrawn after national uproar, but they were re-issued several months later. The lawsuit was filed by Austin Sanctuary Network, Free Migration Project, Grassroots Leadership and the Center for Constitutional Rights in the Southern District of New York. The Haitian Times