SF sues feds over immigration rules


San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Monday that The City and state will each file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over new public safety grant restrictions.

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, also known as JAG, included two new conditions that cities must abide by in order to receive funds from the program this year.

The first condition is to allow the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to question illegal immigrants in correctional or detention centers and “inquire as to his or her right to be or remain in the United States,” according to the JAG website.

A second condition is to inform homeland security officials 48 hours in advanced when an illegal immigrant is released in order for homeland security officials to take custody of the illegal immigrant.

Herrera said the lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeks a court order to declare the new restrictions as unconstitutional and void:

“The new grant conditions mean residents and U.S. citizens could be jailed without probable cause and cities and states could face legal liability for holding someone passed their released date to provide the federal government the required 48-hour notice.”

Herrera added:

“This is a backdoor attempt to coerce states and local governments to carry out federal immigration enforcement.”

Becerra called the Trump administration policies “wreck less” and “illegal.” Congress awarded California $28 million in funding grants from the JAG program, but are now in jeopardy because of the new grant conditions, said Becerra:

“It’s a low blow to our men and women who wear the badge for the federal government their crime fighting resources in order to force them to do the work of the federal government when it comes to immigration enforcement.”

San Francisco could potentially lose $1.4 million from the grant program, according to Herrera.

The City filed a lawsuit in January against Trump over an executive order that threatens to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities.

In April, U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued a preliminary injunction that put a temporary halt to Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities.

Jerold Chinn

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