11.21.17

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Federal Judge’s Nationwide Injunction Blocking Trump Executive Order On “Sanctuary Jurisdictions”

[Last week the U.S. Department of Justice notified 29 jurisdictions, including the State of Vermont and the City of Burlington, of its plans to withhold federal funding based on claims that their policing policies violated federal law with respect to immigration enforcement. Both Vermont jurisdictions have steadfastly denied the DOJ claims, which threatened more than $500,000 in Byrne JAG funding to Vermont law enforcement agencies.  Following is Senator Patrick Leahy’s reaction to the court’s nationwide injunction:]

On Monday night a federal judge saw the Trump Administration’s attempt to deny critical funding to so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions” for what it is: unconstitutional.  Police chiefs, sheriffs and local leaders should decide what state and local policies are necessary to keep their communities safe -- not a President and an Attorney General who are attempting to extort immigration reform by cutting off vital public safety resources to those communities.  This decision makes clear that it is an affront to our government’s fundamental separation of powers for the Trump Administration to retaliate against states and localities that refuse to bow to its xenophobic, anti-immigrant agenda.  The Trump Administration’s efforts to villainize and scapegoat immigrants and harass states and communities are not just disgraceful, they are illegal.  This decision casts doubt on the authority of the Attorney General to withhold funding from the 29 jurisdictions that were notified last week. 

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