The Trump administration will start moving to withhold federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities” in the wake of a federal appeals court ruling that the action is legal, according to Fox News.
New York City and several liberal states including Connecticut, New York, Washington and Massachusetts could lose millions of dollars after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that went against the administration. The money comes from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, and some $250 million is involved.
The Trump administration had contended that withholding the funds would be a way to make sanctuary cities and states cooperate with federal immigration authorities. When the states filed a lawsuit to prevent the administration from withholding the funds, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York took their side. The administration appealed and that lower court ruling was recently overturned.
Some officials on the losing side have remained defiant.
Writing last September for the Heritage Foundation, Hans A. von Spakovsky—senior legal fellow at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies—noted that non-citizens “constitute only about 7 percent of the U.S. population.” However, citing data from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, von Spakovsky noted, “non-citizens accounted for nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of all federal arrests in 2018. Just two decades earlier, only 37 percent of all federal arrests were non-citizens.” He added that “non-citizens accounted for 24 percent of all federal drug arrests.”
Illegal aliens also commit other crimes, including murder, rape and robbery, according to sanctuary critics.
President Donald Trump had promised during his 2016 campaign that he would build a wall along the southern border as a means of preventing illegal immigration. He was challenged in court almost immediately after taking office.
In his article, von Spakovsky cited a Texas study asserted that illegal aliens account for hundreds of thousands of criminal offenses. Still, he noted the continuing resistance by local officials to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
“This refusal to cooperate with federal immigration officials suggests that state and local officials supporting the sanctuary movement believe it’s better to let these criminals return to their communities rather than being removed from this country,” von Spakovsky wrote. “Not all of their constituents would agree.”
Now that the Trump administration has won a victory over the matter, it plans to cut off the funding to sanctuary jurisdictions, perhaps as a means of showing maverick cities that there are consequences to such actions.
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