A federal judge in Los Angeles this week struck down the Trump administration’s policy of denying certain Department of Justice law enforcement grants to cities that adopt “sanctuary” policies and refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
U.S. District Judge Manuel Real issued a permanent, nationwide ban against a Justice Department policy that gave an edge to obliging police departments applying for a community policing grant program. In doing so, Real dealt a legal setback to the Trump administration in its aggressive campaign to crack down on illegal immigration and to force compliance from law enforcement officials.
Calling the ruling “overbroad and inconsistent with the rule of law,” a Justice Department spokesman said the government was within its rights to give preference to departments that assisted in immigration enforcement.
“The Department has the lawful discretion to give additional consideration for jurisdictions that prioritize the safety of their communities and their law enforcement officers when they promise to cooperate with federal immigration authorities seeking information about illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” Devin M. O’Malley said in a statement.
The ruling follows a similar decision in San Francisco late last year. As Breitbart News reported at the time:
U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick III issued a permanent injunction Monday against President Donald Trump’s executive order directing that federal funds be withheld from “sanctuary city” jurisdictions.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum clarifying the Department of Justice’s interpretation of the order, stipulating that the federal funds to be withheld would be limited to discretionary grants from the department to local law enforcement authorities.
But the judge said in July that memorandum was not enough to stop other agencies from interpreting the executive order in a broader sense, and that the memorandum could easily be withdrawn.
The battle will likely continue as the California judgments go through the appeals process.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.