L.A. Joins Legal Battle Against Trump Administration Over Threats Against Anti-Crime Funds for ‘Sanctuary’ Cities

Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer announced the filing of a lawsuit against the Trump administration over threats to cut off federal funds to cities that don't help immigration enforcement. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer announced the filing of a lawsuit against the Trump administration over threats to cut off federal funds to cities that don't help immigration enforcement. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The city of Los Angeles sought Tuesday to join a legal battle against President Trump’s Department of Justice over conditions requiring police to cooperate with immigration enforcement officials in order to qualify for anti-crime funding.

City Atty. Mike Feuer filed papers in U.S. District Court asking the judge hearing a lawsuit brought earlier this month by San Francisco city officials to let Los Angeles quickly into that fray.

In its lawsuit, San Francisco is seeking 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 at the time, 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.

Specifically, Sessions said police would be required to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers access to local jails and to notify ICE 48 hours before releasing from their jail someone tagged by federal authorities as possibly being in the country illegally.

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