The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Trump Administration’s challenge to a nationwide injunction that prohibits linking federal grant funding to ICE jail access and illegal alien release alerts. The Administration pledged to appeal the decision, arguing it has the power to attach strings to federal grants and claiming a nationwide injunction is too broad.

A three-judge panel of the court determined that Chicago is likely to succeed in its challenge to the grant conditions. Writing for the panel Judge Ilana Rovner said Attorney General Jeff Sessions exceeded his authority by using “the sword of federal funding to conscript state and local authorities to aid in federal civil immigration enforcement … (T)he power of the purse rests with Congress, which authorized the federal funds at issue and did not impose any immigration enforcement conditions on the receipt of such funds…It falls to us, the judiciary, as the remaining branch of the government, to act as a check on such usurpation of power.”

In response to the decision, Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said, "The Justice Department believes it exercised its authority, given by Congress, to attach conditions to Byrne JAG grants that promote cooperation with federal immigration authorities when the jurisdiction has an illegal alien who has committed a crime in their custody…Nationwide injunctions allow a single federal district judge to set policy by ordering relief outside the scope of the particular case…Many in the legal community have expressed concern that the use of nationwide injunctions is inconsistent with the separation of powers, and that their increased use creates a dangerous precedent." 

President Trump also slammed the decision on Twitter “Sanctuary Cities released at least 142 Gang Members across the United States, making it easy for them to commit all forms of violent crimes where none would have existed,” he said. “We are doing a great job of law enforcement, but things such as this make safety in America difficult!”

Other cases over sanctions for sanctuary cities are ongoing in California, where several cities and the state sued the Administration, and in Philadelphia.

Read more in The Washington Times.

sanctuary cities

Updated: Fri, May 4th 2018 @ 4:10pm EDT