In July the Department of Justice (DOJ) added two new requirements for states and local governments to receive federal Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG) for law enforcement funding. Chicago, San Francisco, and California have filed lawsuits against Attorney General Jeff Sessions arguing that these new requirements are unlawful. Chicago argues that another requirement added earlier is unlawful as well.    

Congress created Byrne JAG in 2005 to provide “flexible” funding for state and local police departments. In April 2017 DOJ required Chicago (and eight other jurisdictions) to provide documentation that it complies with 8 U.S.C. 1373, which prohibits states and local governments from restricting employees from sharing immigration status information with federal immigration officials.

In July 2017 DOJ added a “notice” and an “access” requirement to receive Byrne JAG funds. Recipients must now (1) provide 48 hours advance notice to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding the scheduled release of “aliens” and (2) allow access to correctional or detention facilities to meet with “aliens” and inquire about their right to be in the United States.

In Wood v. Moss the Court will decide whether Secret Service agents engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination when they moved anti-Bush protesters about one block further from the President than pro-Bush demonstrators.  The Court also will decide whether the lower court evaluated the viewpoint discrimination claim at too high a level of generality when determining whether the agents should have been granted qualified immunity.  The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief in this case.  

Suggested State Legislation: Enactment of UUFDA harmonizes state and federal treatment of unsworn declarations. The Act alleviates foreign affiants' burden in providing important information for state proceedings, while at the same time helping to reduce congestion in U.S. consular offices and allowing U.S. consular officials to increase focus on core responsibilities.

Earlier this year, the National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC) developed a white paper which contained recommendations designed to provide national policy guidance for both short and long-term strategic homeland security issues. The white paper, Protecting Americans in the 21st Century: Imperatives for the Homeland, represents an effort by various disciplines and professions to come together and acknowledge that homeland security is a shared responsibility between all levels of government, the private sector and citizens. Further, the white paper clarifies that these entities should be equal partners with the federal government in setting national goals and their supporting policies and procedures.