Attorney General Becerra: California's Legal Challenge to Trump Administration's Conditions for Federal Funding Will Move Forward

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Contact: (415) 703-5837,

Court sets aside dueling motions from parties  

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued the following statement after the United States District Court for the Northern District of California denied the federal government’s motion to dismiss and the State’s motion for preliminary injunction in a case involving the Trump Administration's attempt to withhold federal funding from California law enforcement.

While the court declined to enter an injunction based on the record before it, the court ruled that the case will continue, affording California the opportunity to seek relief again once there is a more complete record for the court. California will press for a permanent resolution of the lawsuit to secure from the federal government critical public safety funding for eligible jurisdictions across the state.

“The 10th Amendment of the Constitution gives the people of California, not the Trump Administration, the power to decide how we will provide for the public safety and general welfare in our state. We intend to fight to protect the funding our law enforcement officers deserve,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Yesterday, the court signaled that we can continue our fight against federal government overreach that undermines the safety and values of our state.”

Last year, the Trump Administration added immigration enforcement-related conditions to law enforcement grants issued by the U.S. Department of Justice. On August 14, 2017, Attorney General Becerra filed a lawsuit challenging two of these unconstitutional conditions, which attempt to force California law enforcement officials to engage in federal immigration activities and restrict our police and sheriffs' discretion to determine how best to keep our communities safe. On October 13, 2017, the Attorney General’s office filed an amended complaint challenging a third condition that would prohibit state and local jurisdictions from restricting the exchange of information regarding residents’ citizenship and immigration status. This condition, which the Trump Administration is construing far more broadly than the State believes is lawful, was the subject of the State’s motion for preliminary injunction. The other two conditions are currently subject to a nationwide preliminary injunction obtained by the City of Chicago on September 15, 2017. 

Attorney General Becerra has consistently defended our state and local governments' 10th Amendment rights to decide how to accomplish their public safety responsibilities in the face of threats by the Trump Administration over so-called “sanctuary jurisdiction” policies. In June, he led nine states and the District of Columbia in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the City and County of San Francisco, the County of Santa Clara, and the City of Richmond in their challenge to the Trump Administration’s Executive Order targeting “sanctuary jurisdictions.” In March 2017, Attorney General Becerra filed two separate amicus briefs in support of the City and County of San Francisco and the County of Santa Clara, respectively, as they challenged the Trump Administration’s Executive Order.

# # #