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Statement from Attorney General Phil Weiser regarding the State of Colorado filing a lawsuit in federal court to secure federal funding for state and local law enforcement

Mar. 12, 2019 (DENVER, Colo.) — Attorney General Phil Weiser released the following statement regarding a lawsuit the State of Colorado is filing in federal court to ensure that state and local law enforcement agencies receive $2.7 million public safety funds they are entitled to under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice:

“The State of Colorado is challenging the federal government’s unlawful decision to withhold federal public safety grants unless our state and local law enforcement officials comply with illegal immigration-related conditions imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice. The federal courts have halted the federal government’s attempt to enforce these illegal conditions in every case that have challenged them. I am confident we will prevail in this case.

“Withholding congressionally appropriated funds to state and local law enforcement agencies because they do not meet new conditions that are not authorized by Congress is an overreach by the Justice Department. Our action today defends the rule of law and fights for Colorado’s right to congressionally mandated funds dedicated to state and local law enforcement agencies.

 “Under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the federal government is not permitted to ‘commandeer’ or compel state and local officials to enforce federal law. The Justice Department’s actions at issue in this case do just that. As Colorado’s Attorney General, I will carry out my duty to defend our state’s sovereignty.”

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Lawrence Pacheco, Director of Communications
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