US Justice Department Cracking Down on Sanctuary Cities
The US Justice Department to use all “lawful authority” it has to make sure state and local officials follow federal laws on immigration, including laws surrounding sanctuary cities, and those who do not could be in risk of losing federal grant funds, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday.
“In President Donald Trump’s executive order, he stated that it is the policy of the executive branch to ensure that states and cities comply with all federal laws, including all immigration laws,” USAG Sessions said Monday during the daily White House press briefing.
Grants in the future could have additional requirements concerning obeying immigration laws, said Sessions, but fundamentally, “we we intend to use all of the lawful authority we have two make sure that our state and local officials who are so important to law enforcement are in sync with the federal government.”
The Department of Justice, he continued, will require that cities and states seeking DOJ grants must provide proof of compliance with Section 1373 of US code Title 8 on notifying federal officials about a person’s immigration status.
“This policy is entirely consistent with the Department of Justice office’s programs guidance that was issued just last summer under the previous administration,” said Sessions.
During the Obama administration, he continued, the guidance made it clear that failure to remedy the violations could result in withholding or terminating grants and stopping future grants from being awarded.
“The Department of Justice will also take all lawful steps to claw back any funds awarded to a jurisdiction that willfully violates 1373,” said Sessions, noting that the department this year expects to award more than $4.1-B.
“I strongly urge our nation’s states and cities and counties to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration law and to rethink these policies,” said USAG Sessions, after outlining several incidents in which immigrants had carried out serious crimes such as murder or rape.
“Such policies make their cities and states less safe,” said USAG Sessions. “Public safety as well as national security are at stake…the American people want and deserve a lawful city of immigration that keeps us safe and one that serves the national interest. This expectation is reasonable, just, and our government has the duty to meet it, and we will meet it.