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Court Rules Trump Admin Can Withhold Federal Grants to NYC, Seven States over Sanctuary Policies

(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

A federal court on Wednesday ruled that the Trump administration could withhold grants to New York City, as well as seven states, due to their refusal to cooperate with the federal immigration enforcement efforts.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that the federal government could withhold funds from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia and Rhode Island, over the states’ “sanctuary” laws. The states currently contain a number of cities, including New York City, with laws preventing local authorities from notifying Immigration and Customs Enforcement when an illegal immigrant is about to be released from jail.

The seven states and New York City sued the Trump administration in 2017 after federal immigration authorities demanded access to jails and the creation of a system to notify agents of the impending release of an illegal immigrant. The 2nd Circuit court’s decision reverses lower court rulings in favor of the states.

“So-called ‘sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” then-attorney general Jeff Sessions said in 2017 when the suit was filed.

Earlier this month current Attorney General William Barr announced the Justice Department would initiate a series of lawsuits against localities with “sanctuary” laws.

“Let us state the reality upfront and as clearly as possible,” Barr said at an event in Washington, D.C. “When we are talking about sanctuary cities, we are talking about policies that are designed to allow criminal aliens to escape. These policies are not about people who came to our country illegally but have otherwise been peaceful and productive members of society. Their express purpose is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for other crimes. This is neither lawful nor sensible.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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