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Federal Judge Blocks DOJ From Ending Grant Funds to Sanctuary Cities

By Ben Fractenberg | September 15, 2017 7:16pm | Updated on September 17, 2017 3:49pm

MIDTOWN — A federal judge in Chicago issued a nationwide injunction Friday blocking the Trump administration's rule requiring sanctuary cities like New York to comply with immigration authorities or risk losing an annual federal grant dedicated to murdered NYPD Officer Edward Byrne, according to court documents.

The city challenged an order by Attorney General Jeff Sessions enabling the Department of Justice to deny funds to metropolitan areas that did not notify federal immigration officers when undocumented immigrants were released from custody or allow them access to jails.

"This injunction against imposition of the notice and access conditions is nationwide in scope, there being no reason to think that the legal issues present in this case are restricted to Chicago or that the statutory authority given to the Attorney General would differ in another jurisdiction," Judge Harry Leinenweber wrote in his decision. 

The DOJ announced in July that cities requesting the grant money for local law enforcement would have to "comply with federal law, allow federal immigration access to detention facilities, and provide 48 hours notice before they release an illegal alien wanted by federal authorities."

The ruling is the latest in the back-and-forth between the Trump administration and cities and states challenging his immigration actions. 

In August, local law enforcement officials called for ICE officers to stop conducting raids at local courthouses

On Thursday, about a half-dozen immigration officers were seen detaining people outside Brooklyn Criminal Court.