Jareyah Bradley, Balestra Media

For Immediate Release: April 13, 2018
Contact: Jareyah Bradley, jareyah [at] balestramedia.com, (908) 242-4822

Federal Court Ruling Signals Unconstitutional Trump Administration Threats to Deprive Federal Funding over Sanctuary Policies Is Clear Violation of Law

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center Encourages Localities to Continue to Pass and Strengthen Sanctuary Protections

A federal judge ruled that the Department of Justice cannot require local law enforcement to entangle themselves in immigration enforcement to receive federal funding. United States District Judge Manuel Real in Los Angeles permanently enjoined the implementation of rules introduced last year by Attorney General Sessions that withheld community policing grants from local law enforcement departments that did not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement authorities.

More than two dozen localities were notified by the Department of Justice in November 2017 demanding they comply with immigration enforcement directives otherwise they risked losing federal funding. Despite these threats, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center found that sanctuary protections were strengthened across 410 localities and five states in 2017, restricting the use of their agencies’ time, money, or other resources from being spent on federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Said Angie Junck, Supervising Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

“This decision affirms what we’ve always known: sanctuary jurisdictions are entirely legal and this administration’s overreaching attempt to strip funding from them is not. We are heartened that the courts have yet again intervened to remind the Trump administration that commandeering localities that choose to focus on local priorities instead of ripping families apart is in direct violation of the Constitution. We expect that the courts will continue to block Trump from exceeding the limits of his executive authority and peddling these illegal scare tactics.

With the courts and U.S. Constitution on their side, local elected officials should feel empowered to continue to enact policies that prevent needless deportations. Sanctuary policies are smart, effective and help protect communities from the illegal and abusive behavior of the federal government. The ILRC will continue to support this work and share models and resources across the country.”

This is yet another court victory in the long legal battle between the Trump administration and sanctuary jurisdictions. In 2017, six federal court decisions ruled against the administration’s attempts to strip funding and none sided with the federal government.

For interviews with attorneys and experts at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, please contact Jareyah Bradley at jareyah [at] balestramedia.com or (908) 242-4822.


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policymakers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC’s mission is to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. www.ilrc.org