President Trump said Thursday that his administration will begin withholding millions of dollars from sanctuary cities, citing a federal appeals court ruling last week that supported his policy.
“As per recent Federal Court ruling, the Federal Government will be withholding funds from Sanctuary Cities. They should change their status and go non-Sanctuary. Do not protect criminals!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled unanimously last week that the federal government has the discretion to impose conditions when distributing grant money.
The judges noted that the Supreme Court has consistently upheld the federal government’s authority over states on immigration policy.
Three other federal appeals courts have ruled against the administration on the issue. Such a split among appellate courts increases the likelihood of the Supreme Court taking up the matter.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other Democratic elected officials said after the ruling that they would likely appeal the decision.
The Justice Department hailed the ruling last week, saying it “rightfully recognizes the lawful authority of the attorney general to ensure that Department of Justice grant recipients are not at the same time thwarting federal law enforcement priorities.”
New York and other states had sued after the Justice Department said it would withhold grant money from cities that denied federal immigration authorities access to prisons in their efforts to deport illegal immigrants convicted of crimes.
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