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Court: Local governments don’t need to provide information on undocumented immigrants to get federal grants

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A federal court Thursday ruled that local governments across the country need not provide information on undocumented immigrants to federal immigration authorities in order to get certain grants.

The ruling upheld a September lower court ruling holding that the Justice Department couldn’t withhold Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants, better known as Byrne JAG grants, to so-called sanctuary cities including San Francisco unless they provided information on undocumented immigrants.

The conditions include two elements: giving advance notice to federal authorities of the release date of undocumented immigrants held in state or local custody, and allowing ICE agents to enter local correctional facilities and meet with detainees.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had attempted to tie receipt of the funds to the grant recipient’s compliance.

The September ruling was made in response to a case brought by the city of Chicago. The lower court held that the Justice Department couldn’t withhold the grants to jurisdictions that refused to comply.

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