It’s rare for the Trump administration to get a win in the left-leaning 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but they got a big one today in a split decision that overturned a lower court ruling against the administration’s policies on federal grants for sanctuary cities. This ruling allows the Department of Justice to take into account a city’s unwillingness to cooperate with national law enforcement on issues involving illegal immigrants.
Sanctuary cities release criminal illegal immigrants without alerting ICE and other federal agencies who have placed detaining orders on them. It’s a dangerous policy that has put many American citizens living in sanctuary cities in jeopardy. To combat this, the Trump administration wanted sanctuary cities’ applications for Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants scored lower based on their unwillingness to protect their citizens against criminal illegal immigrants.
Now, the DoJ can move forward with issuing the grants as they see fit, just as Congress intended when the bill was passed in 1994.
According to The Hill:
The ruling, a split 2-1 decision, said the Department of Justice (DOJ) was within its rights to withhold Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants from sanctuary cities and states over their refusal to work with federal immigration enforcement authorities and instead prioritize agencies that focused on unauthorized immigration and agreed to give Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to jail records and immigrants in custody.
“The panel rejected Los Angeles’s argument that DOJ’s practice of giving additional consideration to applicants that choose to further the two specified federal goals violated the Constitution’s Spending Clause,” wrote Judge Sandra Ikuta, joined by Judge Jay Bybee.
In her dissent, Judge Kim Wardlaw called the practice “Orwellian.”
Los Angeles had sued the Department of Justice for withholding the grants, and their suit was affirmed by a district court. This reversal is a powerful blow against a city that is struggling to handle everything from gang violence, homelessness, and rampant illegal immigration.
Sanctuary cities refuse to put the safety of their citizens ahead of the freedom of criminal illegal immigrants. This is a huge win for the Trump administration that came from an unexpected source. Kudos to the two judges who did their job correctly.
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