A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday ruled in favor of Los Angeles by rejecting the federal government’s effort to withhold public safety funding over the city’s immigration policies.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said the Trump administration set conditions for law enforcement departments to notify immigration agents when an undocumented inmate is released from custody and to allow agents to access any information that was collected on the prisoner, or it wouldn’t provide what the federal government calls “critical” public safety funding.
“This is a victory for public safety on our streets and for the Constitution,” Feuer said. “We will continue to fight the Trump administration’s unlawful overreach and to stand up for the best interests of Los Angeles residents.”
Los Angeles filed a lawsuit in 2018 against the Trump administration after being denied funding that would have been provided to the LAPD in 2017 under the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program. The conditions were imposed, as one federal judge stated, in an “effort to press state and local police into federal immigration enforcement.”
The city prevailed in federal district court and obtained a preliminary injunction. The Trump administration appealed, and the 9th Circuit affirmed the trial judge’s ruling in favor of the city.
The city uses the federal grant funding to support local criminal law enforcement efforts and drug treatment and enforcement programs.
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