Denver Receives Withheld Federal Funding

The federal government has given the City and County of Denver almost three-quarters of $1 million after a successful rebuking of the attempt by the Department of Justice to penalize some cities in the US for failing to cooperate with immigration enforcement.

The office of Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General of the US, approved the request for funding by Denver for the 2017 fiscal year via the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in a letter on 10 October 2018, over a year after the end of that fiscal year. The letter stated that the City and County of Denver was receiving $423,861 with a further $270,674 added as part of Colorado’s JAG award, according to the office of Michael Hancock, the Mayor of Denver, making the total amount received by Denver $694,535.

The Department of Justice previously withheld the grant money due to the disagreement between the Trump administration and local jurisdictions that failed to cooperate with the new immigration policy. President Donald Trump signed several executive orders on immigration in January 2017, including one targeting so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ that limited the cooperation they were willing to provide to federal immigration authorities.

Denver was one of 23 states and cities, including California, Chicago, Oregon, and San Francisco that took the issue to court. They argued that the government had no legal right to coerce their cooperation by withholding grant funds, and the move was ruled as unconstitutional in August.