Judge bars immigration enforcement criteria for police grant

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge in Los Angeles has issued a nationwide injunction barring the Justice Department from giving priority status for grants to police departments that agree to cooperate with immigration officials.

The ruling came Thursday after Los Angeles — a sanctuary city — filed a request for an injunction. City Attorney Mike Feuer said it was a victory.

The federal COPS Hiring Program awards more than $98 million to police departments across the U.S. to hire more officers to engage in community policing.

In September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said police departments could receive additional points in the application process if they agreed to fully cooperate with immigration authorities.

The judge ruled that such a consideration would “upset the constitutional balance” by forcing police to participate in immigration enforcement.

A Justice Department spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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