On February 26, 2020, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City ruled that the Department of Justice (DOJ) could withhold funding of law enforcement grants provided through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Program from sanctuary cities and states that intentionally interfere with the federal government’s ability to enforce federal immigration laws.
The three-judge panel ruled that the U.S. Congress had delegated authority to the Attorney General to set the conditions on the federal grant program. This ruling came after multiple federal courts had ruled that the Attorney General lacked the authority to set such conditions.
President Trump responded to the ruling via Twitter, “As per recent Federal Court ruling, the Federal Government will be withholding funds from Sanctuary Cities. They should change their status and go non-Sanctuary. Do not protect criminals!”
Supreme Court will ultimately rule on withholding funds from sanctuary cities
This court ruling is the latest of a series of rulings, most of which were rulings against the Department of Justice (DOJ), that began back in 2017 when seven states and New York City sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) after it had announced funding would be withheld from sanctuary cities that were interfering with federal immigration enforcement.
A Department of Justice spokesman stated that the appellate court ruling “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.”
Since this ruling is in conflict with other court rulings from across the country concerning sanctuary policies, it is likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately review the case.
Related News Stories
New York Times. “Trump Administration Gets Court Victory in Sanctuary Cities Case.” March 5, 2020.
Fox News. “Trump moves forward with cutting off funds to sanctuary cities: ‘Do not protect criminals!’.” March 5, 2020.
National Review. “Trump says Federal Government will begin withholding funds from sanctuary cities after court ruling.” March 5, 2020.