California filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration seeking to halt the administration’s “unlawful and unreasonable immigration conditions” on a federal grant for local and state law enforcement for the second year in a row, Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday.
“Yet again, the Trump Administration is withholding millions of dollars in critical public safety grants from local police and sheriffs,” Becerra said.
“This doesn’t make our communities safer – it leaves them more vulnerable,” he said. “Law enforcement agencies in California and nationwide deserve access to critical resources needed to promote public safety, and we will continue to fight on their behalf.”
For the 2018 fiscal year, Congress appropriated $28.9 million in law enforcement funds to California and its local jurisdictions through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program.
Every state is entitled by law to a share of JAG funds.
This year, the Trump Administration built on the new requirements it imposed on JAG funds in 2017, adding even more immigration-enforcement conditions to these important public safety grants.
Friday’s lawsuit seeks to halt the Administration’s unlawful conditions on the JAG grant for fiscal year 2018.
The action also asks the court to order the U.S. Department of Justice to issue the grant awards without requiring the state to certify that it will adhere to the unlawful requirements.
Read the complete complaint here.
The California Department of Justice filed a similar lawsuit last year over the 2017 conditions; this litigation remains ongoing.
Attorney General Becerra has been steadfast in his fight against the federal government’s overreach, standing up for state and local governments’ efforts to limit their entanglement with federal immigration enforcement.
In addition to Friday’s actions, in June 2017, Becerra led nine states and the District of Columbia in filing a friend-of-the-court brief to support the city and county of San Francisco, the county of Santa Clara, and the city of Richmond in their challenge to the Trump Administration’s executive order targeting law enforcement policies that did not embrace the federal government’s immigration enforcement agenda.
On July 5, 2018, Becerra secured a legal victory in USA v. California, when a judge in the Eastern District Court of California denied the federal government’s motion for a preliminary injunction against two of California’s public safety laws: SB 54, the California Values Act and AB 103, relating to the review of detention facilities.
On July 9, 2018, in that same case, Becerra secured the dismissal of the United States’ claims in their entirety with respect to SB 54 and AB 103.