(USA Features) President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would begin withholding federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities” if they continue to thwart legitimate efforts to enforce immigration laws.
“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!” Trump tweeted, the Washington Times reported.
A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan unanimously ruled last week that the federal government has authority to use discretion to impose conditions on recipients when distributing grant money.
Also, the appeals panel noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the federal government has overriding authority when it comes to immigration law and policy.
Three other federal appeals courts have ruled against the administration on the issue, meaning it will likely be headed to the nation’s highest court for a final determination.
The Justice Department hailed the ruling last week, saying it “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.”
Federal law and policies governing the distribution of law enforcement grant money through DoJ have required that recipient states and cities comply with federal immigration laws and do not impede the enforcement of those laws.
Sanctuary policies, however, generally forbid local police agencies from providing such assistance, in violation of DoJ grant rules.