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California AG requests injunction against feds for withholding grant money from sanctuary cities

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed an injunction against the feds for withholding grant money that was supposed to go to sanctuary cities. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra moved for summary judgment and requested a nationwide injunction against the Trump administration for withholding federal grant money from so-called sanctuary cities, according to a news release issued by Becerra's office.

What's the story?

The move comes after a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge in Chicago decided last month to partially overturn an injunction against the Trump administration's distribution of 2017 Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants.

The city of Chicago initially filed the lawsuit seeking an injunction after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that "sanctuary cities" and entities that didn't cooperate with immigration agents could lose their grants. The lawsuit claimed that that the conditions on the awards did not follow federal laws.

Following the judge's decision, which narrowed the injunction to the city of Chicago, the Justice Department quickly began doling out more than $200 million to municipalities and police departments. Districts and police departments may use the grants for equipment, training personnel, and other needs.

As a result of the restrictions, "California has not been awarded $28 million in JAG funding, and at least $56 million has been withheld from law enforcement nationwide," according to the news release.

What did the California attorney general say?

Bacerra argued that an injunction is "needed to ensure" that law enforcement agencies have the funds to protect their communities.

“The Trump administration has it backwards – withholding millions of dollars in critical public safety grants from local police and sheriffs doesn’t make our communities safer. It leaves them more vulnerable,” Becerra said in the release. “Law enforcement agencies in California and nationwide deserve access to critical resources needed to promote public safety, and we will continue to fight on their behalf.”

The documents filed late Monday in the Northern District Court of California included six declarations of support from outside California.

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