Judge deals blow to California–won’t force Trump admin to pay federal grant to sanctuary state

The Trump administration just scored an immigration victory–for now.

A federal judge ruled Monday that the Trump administration will not have to immediately award California with a grant the Justice Department was withholding due to the state’s “sanctuary” status, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. Border Patrol agents detain illegal aliens. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images).

The $1 million grant in question was part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance program, in which the federal government provides states and cities with funds to supplement local law enforcement.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in July that jurisdictions could only receive the grants if they comply with federal immigration law and enforcement efforts, including giving ICE officers access to detention facilities and providing notice when illegal aliens in custody are to be released back onto the streets.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File).

The Trump administration has also required states to certify they are in compliance with a federal immigration law that says they will not prevent their local law enforcement from sharing immigration status information with ICE.

California filed suit against the Trump administration to force payment of the grant. US District Judge William Orrick on Monday rejected the state’s preliminary injunction to hand over the money.

He also rejected a request by the Justice Department to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the matter touched upon “weighty and novel constitutional issues” and that he would hear additional argument before making a final decision.

Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images).

The announcement came after a Chicago-based federal judge last year blocked the federal government’s attempt to keep funding from jurisdictions that fail to provide immigration officials with advance notice before releasing a detained illegal aliens.

Sanctuary cities and states–jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration efforts–remain a source of controversy.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci).

Last month, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf warned illegal aliens in her city about an impending ICE raid, allowing hundreds of illegal persons with prior felony convictions for “serious or violent felonies” to escape arrest.

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