Sanctuary jurisdictions cry “coercion” in legal battle over public safety funds



Political leaders from sanctuary jurisdictions frequently boast about “resisting” the Trump administration, obstructing immigration law enforcement efforts and opening their arms to illegal immigrants. Unhappy with the consequences of their blatant disregard for federal law, six states and New York City are suing the administration for, they say, trying to “coerce” them into compliance.

On Wednesday, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia and New York joined in a multi-state lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court arguing that the Justice Department is blackmailing them by forcing them to choose between complying with conditions placed on federal funds awarded through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program or to forgo the funds.

They want to endanger public safety and get their public safety funds too.

The roots of the legal battle date back to July 2017 when the DOJ sent a notice to all recipients of the Byrne grants making clear they must “comply with federal law, allow federal immigration access to detention facilities,” and provide advanced notification before releasing an illegal alien in order to receive the grants.

On multiple occasions, DOJ has cautioned sanctuary jurisdictions about the consequences of continuing to obstruct law enforcement authorities in arresting and detaining illegal immigrants. With no options left, DOJ began withholding the distribution of funds to the states in violation.

In some other similar lawsuits, individual judges have entered temporary orders releasing the funds to local governments. Currently, DOJ is not releasing a combined $25 million from the Byrne JAG program.

Lourdes Rosado from the Civil Rights Bureau New York attorney general’s office, who is representing the states, argued that withholding funding to states providing “sanctuary” to illegal immigrants is an “unlawful” attempt “to force States and localities to forsake their own policy judgments and aid in federal civil immigration enforcement.”

The assertion that federal law enforcement was preventing localities from protecting their residents was a common theme among the sanctuary officials.

“This is a political attack on New Yorkers, at the expense of our public safety – and it is unlawful. So we will see the Trump administration in court,” insisted New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood in a video statement.

In a written statement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo brazenly claimed the Trump administration was placing “New Yorkers’ public safety at risk to impose its abhorrent and un-American immigration policies.”

“President Trump and Attorney General (Jeff) Sessions are assuming power they don’t have and literally putting lives at risk,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-Conn.) said in a statement.

DOJ spokesman Devin O’Mallery reminded the sanctuary states that they are the ones endangering lives. By ignoring statutes promoting cooperation between local jurisdictions and federal immigration authorities, “political leaders deliberately choose to protect criminal aliens in their custody and to make their communities less safe,” he said.

The best counterargument to the open border lunacy is being made by ICE agents.

Since the beginning of FY2018, 66 percent of ICE arrests were convicted criminals and of the remaining individuals not convicted of a crime, approximately 23 percent have either been charged with a crime, are immigration fugitives, or have been removed from the United States and illegally re-entered.

In the sanctuary state of New Jersey, ICE announced on July 16 the arrest of 37 illegal immigrants. Of those detained, 16 had been previously released by the Middlesex County Jail, which refused to honor the ICE detainer and 78 percent of all the illegal aliens had prior criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.

So, who makes the best “public safety” advocate – the officials who protect those fugitives or the ones who remove them from our communities?

About Author

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Jennifer joined FAIR as Web Content Writer in 2017 and brings to the role extensive communications and media background. She began her career as a policy research analyst on multiple national and state political campaigns before entering journalism. In addition to spending over a decade writing for several broadcast and print news outlets, Jennifer directed communications strategy for a member of Congress and a military nonprofit.

7 Comments

  1. avatar

    I’d Also Add the Rich Elite Sanctuary City Types Hate Trump’s Tax Plan

    These overpopulation and subsequently over-priced homes have property taxes that exceeds the new tax bill limits….LOL

    The rest of us love Trump’s tax plan….

  2. Pingback: Sanctuary jurisdictions weep “coercion” in legal battle over public safety funds | Business 365

  3. avatar

    What a joke. How in the world do you put “public safety at risk”, according to Cuomo, by taking criminals into custody and then deporting them. Nothing we can do about our own criminals born here except jail them at our expense, but to actively work to put the criminals of another country back on our streets defies logic. This stuff is exhibit A to the charge that sanctuary cities care more about illegal alien criminals than American citizens. Kate Steinle died because San Francisco put a five times deported criminal back on the streets.

    All this whining about not being awarded money from the feds, and it is federal funds, fails to account for the fact that sanctuary jurisdictions cause federal officials to spend a lot MORE money and more manpower to capture the criminals that are cut loose, and also puts ICE agents at risk. Picking up a criminal illegal at a jail is far safer and cheaper than sending out agents to comb the streets and knock down doors. Notice how quickly the “fringe” idea of abolishing ICE is becoming mainstream among many in the Democratic party. Whatever shiny new toy that comes their way is embraced.

    Funny how the left insists that Trump is guilty of treason, but have absolutely no problem with the fact that Obama and Hillary sold 20% of our uranium reserves to the Russians. We diminished our stockpile to build up theirs. Nor is it just Trump who thinks he might have been unfairly targeted for surveillance by the Obama intelligence agencies. Several years ago Obama had to take an angry phone call from Angela Merkel when it was revealed that she and many other world leaders had their private calls intercepted by us. The president of Brazil cancelled a state dinner over it.

  4. avatar

    What a total load of crap! We presume all these AG’s actually studied something called ‘the law’ and would be well aware that law is BY DEFINITION, “coercive!” The laws under which we are governed – that is, coerced by the power of the State – generally say that we MUST do this or must NOT do the other. This is nothing more than an attempt to evade the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. These AG’s are saying that the United States Congress, and the Constitution which created it, are null and void.

  5. avatar
    Patricia Watkins on

    Well, of course. They can’t figure out to take care of their homeless & addicted residents (most who are U.S. citizens) but can find the extra money to fight Trump in court. In WA State they couldn’t find the money to properly fund basic education for Washington’s children after the court ordered them to over & over & over again; but they magically found hundreds of thousands up to millions of taxpayer dollars to sue Trump again. Most of these “sanctuary cities” have a large illegal migrant base whom they call “residents.” That is one of the primary reasons they spend so much money defending illegals, plus they love to thwart Trump, plus they want that future voter base. Rabid liberals don’t care what they do to America in terms of open borders and equalizing illegal migrants with legal immigrants and U.S. citizens.

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