A federal judge ruled Friday in favor of the city of Los Angeles and issued a nationwide injunction barring the Trump administration from imposing civil immigration conditions on a 2018 federal public safety grant used to fight gang violence.
The court found that the Trump administration exceeded its authority when it placed the conditions on the grant.
“We’ve got to stand up for public safety in Los Angeles and against the Trump sdministration’s efforts to arrogate to itself authority it does not have,” Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “No matter who holds the presidency, the constitution is still the supreme law of land. We’re going to do everything we can to protect our city against overreach by this administration.”
Feuer sued the Trump sdministration in Los Angeles federal court over the civil immigration conditions imposed on the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which provides federal funding for states and cities to support local law enforcement efforts.
The grant has been the focus of numerous lawsuits filed by local jurisdictions, and last year Feuer’s office won a preliminary injunction against the administration over the 2017 version of the grant conditions.
Each year, the U.S. Department of Justice publishes applications for the grant. Since 1997, with the exception of 2017 — which is currently the subject of a pending case –the city of Los Angeles has received more than $1 million in Byrne JAG funding each year.
An allocation list for 2018 indicated that Los Angeles is eligible to receive $2.2 million for this application cycle, with $1.8 million allocated directly to the city and the remainder to the county. Byrne JAG funding has previously been used to assist in funding a community anti-gang program.
On July 25, 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that new immigration requirements would be placed on all Byrne JAG grant applications that would require jurisdictions to cooperate with federal immigration laws or they would be ineligible for funding.
The Los Angeles Police Department and Feuer’s office responded that they would not comply with the grant’s requirements because the conditions go against longstanding city policies to limit cooperation with federal immigration laws.
The order by U.S. District Judge Manuel Real bars the administration from imposing civil immigration conditions on both the Byrne JAG and Juvenile Gang Prevention Grant, used by the LAPD to fight the MS-13 gang.
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