Another major legal win for President Donald Trump was announced earlier today. As the Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars in law enforcement grants to force states’ cooperation with U.S. immigration enforcement, a federal appeals court in New York ruled Wednesday.
“While mindful of the respect owed to our sister circuits, we cannot agree that the federal government must be enjoined from imposing the challenged conditions on the federal grants here at issue,” the 2nd Circuit three-judge panel said in a decision written by Judge Reena Raggi.
The court further stated, “These conditions help the federal government enforce national immigration laws and policies supported by successive Democratic and Republican administrations. But more to the authorization point, they ensure that applicants satisfy particular statutory grant requirements imposed by Congress and subject to Attorney General oversight.”
As the Associated Press reported:
The 2nd Circuit said plain language of relevant laws makes clear that the U.S. attorney general can impose conditions on states and municipalities receiving money.
And it noted that the Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that the federal government maintains broad power over states when it comes to immigration policies.
In the last two years, federal appeals courts in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco have ruled against the federal government by upholding lower-court injunctions placed on the enforcement of some or all of the challenged conditions.
Ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had once argued, “So-called ‘sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes.”
Cody Wofsy, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union declared that “Over and over, courts have said the Department of Justice doesn’t have authority under governing statutes to impose these conditions,” he said. “These conditions are part of the administration’s attempts to bully, cajole and coerce state and local governments into participating in federal immigration enforcement activities.”
Under the Constitution’s federalism principles and the 10th Amendment, he added, states and municipalities “are entitled to decline to become part of the administration’s deportation force.”
This applies to an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, in honor of a slain New York City policeman killed in the line of duty.