Last July, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that cities and states only would be eligible for Edward Byrne Memorial Justaice Assistance grant money if they cooperated with federal immigration authorities. The U.S. government’s definition of “cooperation” means that cities and states are required to advise federal immigration officials in advance when an undocumented immigrant is to be released from incarceration and give them access to local and state detention facilities. However, this directly conflicts with California’s newly enacted state sanctuary law, which went into effect in 2018. Sessions has blamed sanctuary policies for everything from rampant crime to gang violence, but proponents of sanctuary policies say that they improve public safety by promoting trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement officers. As a result of Sessions’ decision, the state of California filed suit against the U.S. government, claiming that the government could not withhold these funds based on the state’s compliance with federal immigration laws and policies. The judge denied the state’s request for a preliminary injunction requiring the U.S. Department of Justice to immediately turn over $1 million in federal funds to the state. However, the judge also denied the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that the suit raised important constitutional issues that courts have not yet addressed. More recently, a Los Angeles federal district court judge has issued a nationwide permanent injunction that prohibits the U.S. government from requiring local police departments to help immigration authorities in order to qualify for federal funding. This latest federal court ruling is a major coup for local governments and the state of California, whom have sought to stay out of the immigration enforcement business. America’s current political climate makes living in the U.S. very difficult for those with no legal immigration status, and the state of California is doing its best to fight back against the anti-immigration rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we are dedicated to protecting your rights, no matter your age or immigration status. We know how to evaluate your case, explore your options, and provide you with the strongest defense against removal possible. Contact your California deportation defense attorneys today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.