Connecticut will receive $6.4 million in federal law enforcement grants that had been withheld by the Trump administration in a dispute over immigration enforcement, Attorney General William Tong said Tuesday.
Tong said the Biden administration has rescinded conditions placed on the funding in 2017 that would have forced states to do such things as allow the federal Department of Homeland Security access to any immigrant being held in a state correctional facility.
That decision will retroactively free up grants that were blocked between 2017 and 2020, the attorney general said.
Connecticut joined six other states led by New York in suing the U.S. Department of Justice in 2018 arguing that the Trump Administration’s conditions on those grants interfered with the rights of states and localities to set their own law enforcement policies.
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“Today’s action ends years of needless litigation and finally frees millions of dollars in wrongly-withheld funding to state and local law enforcement,” Tong said in a statement. “The federal government was wrong in attempting to force Connecticut police to devote their time and attention to federal immigration enforcement. Police have had their hands more than full addressing serious public safety threats like gun violence, domestic violence, and the opioid epidemic, and this federal support is long-overdue.”
The Justice Assistance Grants have been used by the state for educational programs at the York Correctional Institution, the state’s only women’s prison and for drug treatment programs in the criminal justice system, Gov. Ned Lamont’s office said.