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DHS police stand guard in front of an LA Immigration Court building. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge has sided with the city of Los Angeles and issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting the Justice Department from tying the allocation of federal grants to the participation of local police departments in helping enforce federal immigration laws.

Why it matters: The ruling is a significant blow to President Trump's executive order, signed last year, which threatened to withhold certain federal funds from "sanctuary cities." This is the latest in a string of judicial setbacks by federal courts that have temporarily reined in the administration's various efforts to impose and enforce stricter immigration laws.

The backstory: Los Angeles filed the suit last year after the DOJ declined the LAPD's request for certain grants. LAPD has routinely applied and received grants under the previous administration. But this time, the DOJ had asked LAPD to give immigration agents access to city jails and share information regarding arrestees. But the police department declined to do so.

What they’re saying: In the ruling, issued Wednesday, U. S. District Judge Manuel Real said the DOJ's action “upset the constitutional balance between state and federal power by requiring state and local law enforcement to partner with federal authorities.” He also said the administration overstepped its authority by issuing new grant rules without congressional approval.

  • City attorney Mike Feuer told reporters at a presser Thursday: “This is yet another dagger in the heart of the administration’s efforts to use federal funds as a weapon to make local jurisdictions complicit in its civil immigration enforcement policies.”
  • Devin O'Malley, a DOJ spokesperson, said in a statement that the injunction "is over broad and inconsistent with the rule of law." He added that the department is legally allowed to give preference to departments that promise to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
17 mins ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.

FBI: Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The FBI on Thursday arrested former State Department aide Federico Klein, a Trump appointee who worked on the former president's 2016 campaign, on charges related to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: The 42-year-old Klein is the first member of the Trump administration to be arrested in connection with the insurrection, which led to the former president's second impeachment and charges against over 300 people.

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.