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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, August 23, 2017

L.A. sues Trump administration over threats to withhold anti-crime funds for 'sanctuary' cities

Los Angeles Times 
By Joel Rubin
August 22, 2017

The city of Los Angeles announced Tuesday that it is suing President Trump’s Department of Justice, claiming that new conditions requiring police to cooperate with immigration enforcement officials to qualify for anti-crime funding are unconstitutional and should be blocked.

City Atty. Mike Feuer said he is asking a federal judge to strike down rules U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions announced last month for Justice Department funds that have long been dispersed to local law enforcement agencies to bolster efforts to fight violent and gang crime. Going forward, Sessions said, police agencies that want a piece of the funding would have to first demonstrate that they are willing to help immigration officials identify and detain people in local jails who are suspected of being in the country illegally.

“We’re suing to block the Trump administration from unconstitutionally imposing its will on our city. The administration would put L.A. to the untenable choice of risking a key public safety grant or making LAPD an arm of federal civil immigration policy,” said Feuer in a statement.

The Justice Department awards the grant money to states and cities annually. In the past, the amount cities receive has been calculated based on population and crime statistics. In each of the last 20 years, Los Angeles has received over $1 million, including $1.8 million for the 2016 fiscal year. This year, L.A. would be eligible to receive $1.9 million, to be shared between the city and the county.

The legal challenge is the latest response to threats by the Trump administration to cut funds to so-called sanctuary cities. Last week, California and San Francisco officials said they also were suing the Trump administration.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said then that the state and its local jurisdictions received $28 million in law enforcement grants this year from the federal government, money that could be withheld in the future.

joel.rubin@latimes.com

Follow @joelrubin on Twitter

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

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