Washington, DC— Mayors across the country applaud yesterday afternoon’s ruling by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that enables U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) members to receive Byrne JAG public safety grants without having to adhere to unconstitutional and illegal conditions imposed on that funding by the Attorney General.
USCM recently sued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to enjoin the Attorney General from imposing immigration-related conditions on the receipt of Byrne JAG funds. On August 9, the District Court enjoined the Attorney General from attaching the three challenged conditions to grants awarded under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program to the City of Evanston and to any member of the United States Conference of Mayors but suspended the effect of that ruling pending appeal. Conference lawyers immediately filed an emergency motion in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Yesterday’s ruling was on that motion.
“Byrne JAG funds support critical, life-saving public safety programs in our cities,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO and Executive Director. “By requiring grantees to certify to notice, access, and compliance conditions in order to receive funds, the Attorney General was forcing many mayors and their cities to choose between agreeing to unlawful immigration-related conditions and losing federal grant funds to which they are entitled. We appreciate the Seventh Circuit’s ruling to stop this overreach of executive authority.”
Commenting on the decision, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “I am grateful to the U.S. Conference of Mayors for standing united with us to protect our principles and push back against the misguided policies and ideologies of the Trump administration. This decision is a win for cities across America, and a victory for the rule of law. Chicago will always stand up for our values, defend the rights of our residents and work to preserve our most fundamental American ideals.”