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Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Justice Department Warns of Withholding Grants From Sanctuary Cities

Wall Street Journal 
By Laura Meckler
July 25, 2017

WASHINGTON—The Justice Department stepped up its pressure on so-called sanctuary cities Tuesday, saying it would withhold grant money from jurisdictions if they don’t allow federal immigration agents into local jails.

The agency announced it would also insist that local officials give federal immigration authorities 48 hours’ notice, if requested, when they are set to release someone from custody.

For months, the Trump administration has been pressuring local jurisdictions to honor the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s “detainers.” These requests ask local officials to hold people suspected of being in the U.S. illegally beyond their release times, so that the agency can arrest and possibly deport them. Many cities and counties resist, for both policy and legal reasons.

This week, the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts became the latest court to rule that these detainers are unlawful, and ordered Massachusetts authorities not to honor them.

Administration officials acknowledge that the detainers are requests, not orders, and the new Justice policy stops short of ordering local jails to hold suspects. Rather, they say, the policy orders that local officials notify the federal government when someone is set for release and then allow ICE into the facility to make the arrest. It is unclear if such a policy would pass muster with the courts.

The Justice Department said jurisdictions that don’t follow the rules would lose funding from the Byrne JAG grant program, a decades-old program that provided $347 million in criminal-justice funding to state and local governments last year.

Write to Laura Meckler at laura.meckler@wsj.com

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

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