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Biden seeks dismissal of 'sanctuary' funding dispute at Supreme Court

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court building is seen behind a window in Washington, U.S. November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden’s administration on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss three pending appeals on former President Donald Trump’s effort to withhold millions of dollars in law enforcement funds from states and cities that refused to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Lawyers for jurisdictions challenging the order in the three cases said they agreed with the new administration that the cases should be dismissed. The three cases involve New York City, San Francisco and various states including California and New York.

Biden, a Democrat, has rescinded the Republican Trump’s 2017 executive order that called on U.S. agencies to withhold federal funds from the so-called sanctuary jurisdictions, many of which are governed by Democrats. Lower courts were divided on whether the policy was lawful.

Trump’s 2017 order conditioned receipt of federal funds by state and local governments on their giving U.S. immigration officials access to their jails, and advance notice when immigrants in the country illegally are being released from custody. It was one element of Trump’s hardline immigration policies and his battles with Democrats.

The new administration has moved to reverse course on various Trump policies coming before the Supreme Court.

The court last month canceled oral arguments in two other cases after the Biden administration changed course from Trump. Both were appeals by Trump’s administration - one defending his funding of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the other defending his “remain in Mexico” asylum policy.

The administration also has asked the court to cancel an upcoming argument on a policy introduced under Trump backing work requirements for people who receive healthcare under the Medicaid program for the poor.

The administration last month told the justices the Obamacare healthcare law should be upheld, reversing the position taken under Trump.

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by Ted Hesson; Editing by Will Dunham

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