Byrne Law Enforcement Grant Program Awards Hang in the Balance

Published: April 21, 2017

Architecture Engineering and ConstructionInformation TechnologyInformation TechnologyJustice/Public Safety & Homeland SecurityNEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENTS (NEW YORK)PHILADELPHIA, CITY OF (PHILADELPHIA) (PENNSYLVANIA)

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has sent letters to nine jurisdictions, threatening to withhold Byrne Grant funding because of violation of US Law.

The US DOJ issued a press release on April 21, 2017 stating that nine jurisdictions were possibly in violation of  8 U.S.C. § 1373. The law relates to communication between government agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The letters explain to each juridsiction that the terms of the FY2016 Byrne JAG grant is contingent upon following this law. Each locality was given until June 30, 2017 to comply, or the DOJ may withhold these funds. 

The Byrne JAG grant is given to state and local agencies for a wide range of uses, including crime prevention and a variety of other public safety needs. Funding for New York alon was $4.2 million. In total, $14.7 million in funding could be withheld. The total amount of awards for FY16 total $84 million, so in all it is 16% of the total, but these are large cities and the funding may pay for large projects. It is possible that these projects could be stalled or discontinued with the lack of additional funding.