The Justice Department has started doling out hundreds of millions of dollars in grant money that had been tied up in a court battle over sanctuary cities, The Washington Times reported Wednesday.
The release was triggered by an appeals court ruling Tuesday that freed up grants for jurisdictions and police departments while a case proceeds on Chicago's sanctuary city practices, the news outlet reported.
"After the stay was granted, the Justice Department promptly moved to begin the distribution of nearly $200 million in Byrne [Justice Assistance Grants] to jurisdictions that share the department's commitment to keeping criminal aliens off our streets and our law abiding citizens safe," Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley told the Times. "Reviews of some applications remain ongoing."
The Byrne grants are are used by towns, cities, and police departments across the country to pay for equipment, training, personnel, or other pressing needs.
But when the Trump administration last year said it would condition the money on locality's willingness to cooperate in holding illegal immigrants for pickup by federal deportation officers, the city of Chicago sued, arguing the conditions were not part of federal law.
A federal district judge initially ruled in favor of Chicago, but issued a nationwide injunction that tied up Byrne grants for any other localities — putting the nearly $200 million in 2017 money on hold.
However, an appeals court Tuesday narrowed that finding — deciding that while the district court could decide the fate of Chicago's practices, it could not tie the hands of the entire country, Politico reported.
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