Attorney General Becerra Secures Court Decision Against Trump Administration Protecting Millions in Public Safety Funds for California

Monday, July 13, 2020
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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today successfully continued the fight against the Trump Administration’s unlawful bullying of communities to coerce them to do the federal government’s job of immigration enforcement. This morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed that immigration enforcement requirements attached to fiscal year 2017 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program funds were unlawful. The decision protects $28.3 million of public safety funding used in criminal justice initiatives across California. The court also affirmed the statewide injunction California had secured, providing the same protections for all jurisdictions across the state.

“Our courts have consistently slammed President Trump’s unlawful, hardball tactics to coerce communities to do his bidding. We sued the Trump Administration because our priority in California is to keep our communities safe and protected. We’re not about to concede $28.3 million of public safety JAG grant funds that we’ve earned to do that work,” said Attorney General Becerra. “To California’s critics of our lawsuits against the President who argue that we should surrender to Donald Trump’s bully playbook, I offer another 28.3 million reasons why we won’t.”

Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting public safety and the rights of Californians across the state. Last year, following sustained efforts to protect California’s access to critical public safety funds, Attorney General Becerra obtained a court order protecting $28.3 million from the federal government’s unlawful conditions on Byrne JAG funds (the subject of today’s court ruling). Attorney General Becerra has been in court since 2017 pushing back on attempts by the Trump Administration to condition critical Byrne JAG public safety funds on adherence to the administration’s immigration enforcement policy objectives. Additionally, in 2017, Attorney General Becerra highlighted a joint report outlining how public safety is better served by focusing resources on combatting dangerous criminals rather than on immigration enforcement.

A copy of the decision is available here.

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