California Files First 'Sanctuary Cities' Lawsuit From a State

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The city's lawsuit stems from a July 25th press release from the DOJ that announced new eligibility requirements for a grant program that provides funding for everything from police cars and domestic violence shelters to services for at-risk youth.

California joined San Francisco on Monday in taking legal action challenging a Trump administration threat to withhold federal public safety grants from sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate in deportations. "This is pure intimidation meant to force our law enforcement into changing the policies and practices that they have determined promote public safety", Becerra said.

"I think it would do San Francisco and the state of California good if they actually cooperate with the federal government in this regard", one person said.

California, and several USA cities including NY and Philadelphia, have said they will not actively pursue illegal immigrants who have not committed any crimes.

Trump made Steinle's case a cause célèbre, and his commitment to a border wall and to enforcing federal immigration laws helped him rise to the top of the GOP primary field - and the presidency.

"Sanctuary cities are located in traditionally blue states", Californian Blogger Rick Gage told Xinhua earlier, "Maybe it is time for these blue states to start withholding tax dollars from a federal government which only seems to spend, foolishly, on walls and wars that guard against imaginary enemies". "In the name of public safety, this president is undercutting law enforcement by withholding money used to reduce crime". But that order was quickly challenged by Santa Clara and San Francisco counties and was blocked in federal court. It's a low blow to our fearless men and women who wear the badge, and to the communities they serve. "The Trump administration has instituted polices that are not only reckless but illegal, and it's our right and our duty to fight to protect our law enforcement officers and the resources they rely upon to get their work done", he said.

California Files First 'Sanctuary Cities' Lawsuit From a State

Separately, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Monday that California would be the first state to challenge the grant conditions.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice placed unlawful and inappropriate immigration enforcement conditions on certain public safety grants for law enforcement.

This spring, a federal judge in the Northern District of California prohibited the administration from carrying out a threat to strip federal funding in general from sanctuary cities, aside from previously existing conditions on the JAGs. Immigration enforcement is the federal government's job, he said.

Calls to the DOJ for comment on the California suit were not immediately returned.

Trump Administration took an "unconstitutional attempt to force California law enforcement officials to engage in federal immigration enforcement, rather than allow them to use their discretion to determine how best to keep their communities safe", a press release issued by California Attorney General Office read.

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