A Federal appeals court ruled about the cities of refuge. The court ruled that the administration of U.S. President Donald trump may deny funding to States who refuse to cooperate with Federal immigration authorities. This writes Fox News.
The 2nd circuit court of appeals in new York overturned a lower court decision, which blocked the administration’s decision on withholding of grant funds in the framework of “grant Programme to help the Edward Byrne memorial”. This program allocates more than $250 million a year in state and local efforts in the field of criminal justice.
“Today’s decision rightfully acknowledges the legal authority of the Prosecutor General to ensure that the grant recipients of the Department of justice did not violate Federal law enforcement priorities, — said the representative of the U.S. Department of justice. — The terms of the grant require that States and cities receiving grants, shared information about the detained criminals. The Federal government uses this information to enforce immigration laws”
The court’s decision is in conflict with decisions of other appellate courts across the country about the policies of the cities of refuge, which specifies that review in the U.S. Supreme court ultimately very likely.
New York and liberal States, including Washington, Massachusetts and Connecticut, sued the government, and the U.S. district court for the southern district of new York has supported them is ordered not to freeze the money and stop the government to put immigration-related conditions for grants.
But the court of appeal held that “it cannot accept that the Federal government should be prohibited to set conditions on receipt of Federal grants in question”.
“These conditions help the Federal government enforce the immigration laws and policies, supported by successive Republican and democratic administrations,” said the court.
The judgment marks a key victory the Obama administration in its efforts to curb the continuing use policies of the cities of refuge, which limits the cooperation of local law enforcement with Federal immigration authorities to protect illegal immigrants from deportation.
Mike Howell from the heritage Foundation, a former employee of the office of legal counsel Department of homeland security, said that this decision is potentially an important event, given the dependence of such States as new York, grants from the Department of justice.
“When you look at the amount of money coming through grants, the Federal government has much power over the States, he said. — If you open the door to ensure that the Federal government could provide the money, it’s a huge deal.”
The policy of the cities of refuge prohibits local law enforcement to report to Immigration and customs police (ICE) that was detained or released illegal immigrant. This is to ensure that ICE could not detain and deport illegal immigrants.
Supporters of the cities of refuge argue that it makes the city safer because it encourages illegal immigrants to cooperate with police without fear of deportation. But trump denies this, citing the example of cases where illegal immigrants are leaving custody, have committed a crime.
President trump has called on Congress to pass a law that will allow victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants to sue cities and States.
“Not one American life should not be stolen by the city-shelters; undocumented immigrants everywhere, and many people do not want to live together with them,” said trump during the traditional annual address of the President to the Congress.