Washington and 5 other states sue US over federal immigration enforcement policy

NEW YORK  — Six states and New York City are suing the federal government, saying it is unlawfully forcing them to engage in federal immigration enforcement to receive anti-crime funds.

Lawsuits were filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court on behalf of New York state and city, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts and Virginia.

They seek a judge's declaration that the policy change announced last year and enforced beginning last month is unconstitutional.

Lawyers for the states wrote in court papers that the Justice Department was forcing states to accept unlawful conditions that diminish their ability to set their law enforcement priorities and protect their communities.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.