6 States Sue US Over Withholding Of Federal Grant Money

The Trump administration says local law enforcement must help federal agents with immigration enforcement or lose out on certain grant money.
Posted at 9:55 PM, Jul 18, 2018

The Trump administration is again facing legal action for requiring local governments to actively assist in federal immigration enforcement or be banned from receiving certain federal grants. Six states filed suit Wednesday.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last year that local law enforcement had to help federal law enforcement detain undocumented immigrants or forfeit Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant money. 

The new rules say localities must give federal agents access to prisons, notify them when an undocumented prisoner is released and, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, give federal officials information on any person's immigration status.

New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington filed the lawsuit. New York's attorney general said, "The Trump administration simply does not have the right to require state and local police to act as federal immigration agents.”

The Justice Department called the lawsuit a "disservice to these states' law-abiding citizens" and says so-called "sanctuary" policies make communities less safe. But some local officials have argued undocumented immigrants will be afraid to report crimes if they think local law enforcement may deport them.

The odds seem to be stacked in the states' favor. Philadelphia won a similar case last month, and Chicago did the same in April.