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Hawai‘i Joins Coalition to Protect ‘Sanctuary’ Jurisdictions

February 1, 2018, 2:15 PM HST
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Hawai‘i Attorney General Doug Chin joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general in a new amicus brief to protect state and local law enforcement agencies from federal funding cuts, supporting a challenge to the Trump Administration’s efforts to punish so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions by putting immigration-related conditions on federal law enforcement grants.

The amicus brief was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in City of Chicago v. Sessions.

“Federal grants to our state and local law enforcement partners should not be based on politics,” said Attorney General Chin. “State and local officials should be able to set their own law enforcement priorities and fund critical programs free from coercion by the Trump Administration.”

In July 2017, the DOJ announced that it was imposing new immigration-related conditions on law enforcement funding, and threatened to withhold funds from jurisdictions that did not comply with these conditions.

As the attorneys general argue, the new conditions violate the law, the constitutional principle of separation of powers, and federalism principles by interfering with states’ and localities’ abilities to set their own law enforcement policies and overstepping DOJ’s statutory authority.

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