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Conn. And NY Sue DOJ For Threatening To Revoke Funding In Sanctuary Cities

Robert F. Bukaty
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking last week in Concord, N.H.

Attorneys general in six states, including Connecticut and New York, are suing the Justice Department over a policy that would revoke federal public safety grants in so-called “sanctuary cities.”

Last summer, the DOJ changed requirements for public safety grants, forcing local law enforcement to share more information about immigrants’ whereabouts and making recipients give federal agents access to correctional facilities to question immigrants.

The suit says those new conditions interfere with the right of states and localities to set their own law enforcement policies.

It also says that under federal law, localities can choose whether to use local resources to enforce federal immigration policy.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood says that it’s an infringement of state’s rights.

“The Trump Administration simply does not have the right to require state and local police to act as federal immigration agents,” Underwood said.

Under the administration’s policy, municipalities that don’t share information or work with federal immigration officials would lose public safety funds used for programs that combat gun violence, opioid addiction and sexual assault.

A Justice Department spokesman says the six states are cheating law-abiding citizens by suing the federal government over immigration enforcement policies.

Connecticut could lose more than $1.7 million in funding and New York State could lose $9 million if the Justice Department decided that they were not in compliance.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.