Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that states and cities would lose certain federal grants if they continued their “sanctuary city” status.
Sessions said the Justice Department intends to begin punishing sanctuary cities by cutting federal grants from jurisdictions that refuse to honor detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“That is the goal, to continue to protect immigrant communities”, said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Taking away desperately needed aid for hiring more police officers, providing up-to-date technology to reduce crime, and encouraging initiatives to build trust and transparency between police and the citizens they are sworn to protect is sure to make cities more unsafe.
“Such policies can not continue”.
The Trump administration has pledged to crack down on immigrants in the USA illegally and threatened to withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that don’t cooperate with detention orders.
Los Angeles’ leaders have resisted officially labeling the city as a sanctuary city, although many others cities, including San Francisco and Portland, have taken on the label.
“This is not really about enforcing the law; this is about driving policy through bullying and fear mongering”, said Tom Jawetz, vice president of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress. “The president has rightly said this disregard for law must end”, Sessions said.
State lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that would charge local officials who do not comply with federal immigration enforcement with a crime, cut state funding for the local entities they oversee and assess financial penalties for those cities or counties. Mr Trump signed an order in January to withdraw funding from sanctuary cities that decline to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, a move that sparked protests across the country.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez criticized the new Justice Department requirement as undermining local law enforcement by threatening to take away critical funds that help keep criminals off the streets.
Cleveland has received millions of dollars in Justice Department grant money in recent years for safety programs and hiring police officers.
“Failure to deport aliens who are convicted of criminal offenses puts whole communities at risk, especially immigrant communities and the very sanctuary jurisdictions that seek to protect the perpetrators”, Sessions said. “The Attorney General’s comments appear to be little more than cynical attempts to talk about anything other than Trumpcare or Russian Federation following a bad week for the Trump administration”, Holmes said in a statement. The detainer also asks that local enforcement briefly maintain custody of the illegal immigrant for DHS to assume custody for removal purposes. The murder became a rallying point for the campaign.
Two male students, including an 18-year-old undocumented immigrant, are accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in a school bathroom. That case has reignited the debate about illegal immigration and sanctuary policies. In other words, it laid out which jurisdictions it considered to be providing some form of sanctuary to undocumented immigrants.