“As per recent Federal Court ruling, the Federal Government will be withholding funds from Sanctuary Cities,” tweeted Trump on Thursday. “They should change their status and go non-Sanctuary. Do not protect criminals!”
Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York issued a ruling confirming the government’s ability to impose conditions when distributing funds. In other words, it is perfectly within the government’s power to withhold law enforcement grants from jurisdictions that refuse to obey the law.
The Second Circuit’s decision contradicts rulings from three other federal appeals courts, which means the issue is likely to reach the Supreme Court. In the ruling, the judges noted that SCOTUS has consistently upheld the government’s authority over states when it comes to immigration policy.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has already promised to appeal the Second Circuit’s decision. In 2017, New York joined six other states in a lawsuit against the Department of Justice after the Trump Administration announced it would start withholding funds from cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities.
As noted in a recent report by the Office of Inspector General, sanctuary policies not only give criminal illegals the opportunity to commit more crimes, but they also put officers at risk.
When ICE identifies an arrested individual as “deportable,” the agency issues a request (called a “detainer”) asking local officials to notify ICE when that person is released.
In sanctuary cities, police are ordered to ignore detainers and to block ICE agents from entering jails. This means the criminal is released back into the community and immigration authorities are forced to go after an ‘at-large’ individual rather than arresting that person while they are still in jail.
According to the report, the practice of ignoring detainers is becoming more common.
ICE issued roughly 165,000 detainers in 2019, a 20% increase from 2014. During the same period of time, the number of detainers authorities chose to ignore increased by 89%. Of the 58,900 detainers ignored between 2013 and 2019, only 70% of those individuals were arrested by ICE. The rest remain at large.
Author’s Note: President Trump has been trying to find a way to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities since his first day in office, and the Second Circuit’s ruling is a major win for him as we move closer to the presidential election.