Federal judge rules Trump administration cannot withhold grants from ‘sanctuary cities’

Federal judge rules Trump administration cannot withhold grants from ‘sanctuary cities’

A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled [opinion, PDF] Friday that the Trump administration cannot withhold grants to so-called “sanctuary cities,” issuing a nationwide injunction.

US Attorney General had said in March that cities failing to enforce immigration laws may be cut off [JURIST report] from Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] grants, and the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in August after the DOJ placed restrictions on certain grants.

US District Judge Harry Leinenweber ruled Friday that Sessions lacked authority to place restrictions on the grants, violating separation of powers:

The notice and access conditions therefore exceed statutory authority, and, consequently, the efforts to impose them violate the separation of powers doctrine and are ultra vires. The City has shown a likelihood of success on the merits as to these conditions.

Leinenweber declined to block a requirement that cities certify their compliance with a federal law barring local governments from restricting the sharing of information with federal immigration authorities.