What's Next for Cities' DOJ Funding Under New ICE Strings

Chicago and California are suing over new ICE requirements for DOJ funding. Here's the options for accepting or delaying grants until the court decides.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the lawsuit filed by the city of Chicago against the U.S. Department of Justice for expanded 8 U.S.C. § 1373 (Section 1373) requirements will not stop the rules before local governments apply for their non-competitive DOJ funding under the Edward Byrne Justice Assistant Grant (JAG) program.

The suit asked the court to put a freeze on a new policy that would give federal authorities access to grantees correctional and detention centers until the case plays out. But as a result of this week's decision, the city will have to apply for the grant under these conditions.

Cities Have 45 Days & Extension Request Option for DOJ Funding

Justice Department lawyers said the city would not be forced to accept the grant conditions until it signed a potential award letter, and would have until 45 days after being notified to sign. The award letters would list special conditions, such as 1373 certification, that must be met to release the funding.

Chicago can ask for an extension of time to accept the award as it awaits a legal decision and avoid award forfeiture. Units of local government can make extension requests in the DOJ online grants system.

State allocations under a separate JAG program announcement -- which also fund local government law enforcement needs and programs -- would also have 45 days and an opportunity to request an extension, according to the DOJ's request for proposals.

Acceptance Locks Grantees In for The Future

Once a grantee signs for its JAG grant, and begins to draw down funds, it is locked into the award terms. Failure to comply could require funds to be paid back, and could make the government entity ineligible for future grants.

In order to validly accept an award under the JAG programs, a unit of local or state government must submit certification with Section 1373 prepared by its chief legal officer using the appropriate DOJ form specified in the JAG RFPs.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber put off Chicago's next hearing until Sept. 11th. He noted that if Chicago wins its upcoming case, it would not be bound by the DOJ's new Section 1373 conditions.

California is also suing the DOJ over the new Section 1373 requirements.

Get our tips on certifying compliance with Section 1373 for DOJ grants. 

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