Cities win immigration policing dispute with US government

The U.S. Justice Department has dropped its challenge to court decisions that said the federal government could not force two Rhode Island cities to turn police into federal immigration agents

The two cities sued in August 2018 after the federal government required recipients of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to cooperate with authorities in the enforcement of federal immigration law.

Both cities are self-described “sanctuary cities” and do not direct their police forces to carry out federal immigration policy.

A U.S. District Court and the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals both sided with the cities.

“I am thrilled that the federal courts served as a critical firewall against these unconstitutional directives,” Elorza said in a statement. “We stood proudly in court and stated that Providence is a welcoming city, that we will stand by our values, and we will fight the federal government’s illegal and unconstitutional overreaching.”