AG Sessions: Sanctuary cities threaten public safety, could lose federal funds

Adjust Comment Print

So-called "sanctuary cities" that refuse to comply with immigration law will have federal funding taken away if they don't reverse their policies, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned Monday.

Sessions also said that the DOJ would more strictly enforce a rule that was announced during the Obama administration regarding grants for sanctuary cities.

Today I am urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws, including 8 U.S. Code § 1373.

Speaking in the White House Briefing Room, Sessions said the Justice Department plans to award $4.1 billion in grant money this year - but that sanctuary cities will no longer be eligible to receive them.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, center, and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) John Kelly, right, hold a press conference to announce a new executive order travel ban signed by President Donald J. Trump.

"If the federal government is unable to enforce the nation's broken immigration laws, it should not attempt to shift that burden onto cities".

In a surprise appearance at the White House Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions further warned sanctuary cities against harboring unsafe criminal illegal aliens and detailed coming consequences for doing so.

"After years of the previous administration turning a blind eye to this issue, the federal government is sending a clear and necessary message that the laws of this land are going to be enforced", he said in a statement. Since 2012, Philadelphia has received $8.6 million in JAG funding, according to PhillyVoice.

Asked by reporters about those communities that will continue to not comply, he called it "very disheartening".

Sanctuary city is not an official designation, but generally refers to a city or other jurisdiction that does not detain or prosecute people for violating federal immigration laws.

The federal government has stepped up its oversight of municipalities' compliance with the guidance.

We have simply got to end this policy.

The report listed several NY municipalities counties that have enacted policies to limit cooperation with the federal government on immigration policy, including Ithaca, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties in northern NY and Wayne County outside Rochester.