California receives about $28 million a year in federal law enforcement funding subject to Trump administration restrictions.
This week’s battle between President Donald Trump’s administration and California has escalated, as the state has officially filed a lawsuit over the cut-off of federal funding due to sanctuary city policies:
Intensifying California’s standoff with the Trump administration over immigration policy, the California attorney general sued the Justice Department on Monday over the administration’s plans to cut off millions of dollars in federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities unless they begin cooperating with federal immigration agents.
The state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, argued in the lawsuit that the Justice Department’s threat, made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month, undermines public safety and violates the Constitution.
“It’s a low blow to our men and women who wear the badge for the federal government to threaten their crime-fighting resources in order to force them to do the work of the federal government,” Mr. Becerra said at a news conference. “We’re in the best position to determine how best to enforce the law and keep our people safe.”
Legal Insurrection readers may recall my profile of Becerra, who has been planning this suit for some time. There is a considerable amount of money that could potentially be withheld if the suit is unsuccessful:
California receives about $28 million a year in federal law enforcement funding that would be subject to the new conditions, the state said in its lawsuit.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Monday said San Francisco receives about $1.4 million in such funds. Immigration enforcement is the federal government’s job, he said.
“We’re not stopping them,” Herrera said. “But our police and deputies are focused on fighting crime, not breaking up hard-working families.”
San Francisco also filed its own federal lawsuit regarding federal restrictions. While there has been no official comment on the California lawsuit, the following statements were made in regard to similar suits brought by Chicago:
…U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said the Trump administration “will not simply give away grant dollars to city governments that proudly violate the rule of law and protect criminal aliens.”
Jim Brulte, chairman of the California GOP, criticized the lawsuits, saying that “allowing felons, allowing repeat felons to roam free for political purposes is bad public policy.”
Supporters have said the sanctuary protections promote overall public safety by allowing immigrants who are in the country illegally to report crimes without fear of federal deportation.
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