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hinders the enforcement of Federal law." In particular, the order attempted to penalize sanctuary cities by prohibiting any "jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373"—a law barring state or local governments from preventing government employees from sharing information regarding a person's immigration or citizenship status with federal officials—from receiving federal grants. Within days, several jurisdictions, including the county of San Francisco and the cities of Chelsea and Lawrence in Massachusetts, filed legal complaints asking courts to find the funding stipulation unconstitutional. [See President Trump Threatens to Revoke Funding for Sanctuary Cities (primary source)] In April 2017, the Justice Department sent notices to nine jurisdictions—the State of California; Chicago; Clark County, Nevada; Cook County, Illinois; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Milwaukee County, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York City; and Philadelphia—accusing them of violating 8 U.S.C. 1373 by refusing to cooperate with federal authorities on matters relating to immigration and citizenship status. Continued refusal to comply with this law, the notices stated, would result in an end to federal funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG), an initiative created in 2005 to provide money to local police forces to fight crime.
In July, U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department was instituting two new conditions for jurisdictions applying for JAG funding: They would have to notify the DHS 48 hours before releasing any immigrant from custody if immigration authorities had requested such notice, and they would have to allow immigration agents access to any detention facility in order to question immigrants.Although the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to allocate federal funding, the executive branch has some discretion over the distribution of such funds. Several Supreme Court decisions, however, have limited how the federal government may do this, including ruling that the government may only withhold money relevant to the goals of policies it is intending to entice states into adopting. "The courts have held in the past that the federal government can only strip funding that is related to the policy involved—so it's unlikely to hold up if the administration tried to take away highway funds, for example," journalist Tal Kopan wrote for CNN in March 2018. "The courts have also ruled that funding decisions may not be used to 'coerce' states into actions."Several jurisdictions filed legal complaints in federal courts challenging the validity of the Justice Department's JAG stipulations. In April 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down the requirements as unconstitutional, and in June, similarly, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the Justice Department could not cut off federal funds from Philadelphia over its sanctuary policies. In August, in City and County of San Francisco v. Trump, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit voided the funding