Yesterday, President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions told White House correspondents his agency would begin to end sanctuary cities and penalize those municipalities that fail to enforce current federal immigration law.
Sessions said the Justice Department could claw back approximately $4.1 billion in 2017 grant money if cities requesting funds refuse to verify that they are in compliance with the federal law that calls for local law enforcement to share immigration details with federal officials.
“The Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for DOJ grants (sic) to certify compliance with [U.S. Code § 1373] as a condition of receiving those awards,” Sessions explained.
The law in question prohibits local law enforcement or government officials from withholding illegal immigrant status to the federal government, i.e. ICE/Immigration and Customs Enforcement. President Trump ran on a platform of strictly enforcing immigration laws passed by Congress and building a wall.
“Failure to deport aliens who are convicted of criminal offenses puts whole communities at risk, especially immigrant communities in the very sanctuary jurisdictions that seek to protect the perpetrators,” Sessions explained. “I urge the nation’s states and cities to carefully consider the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws.”
A number of large cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, as well as more than 300 smaller cities and counties, are refusing to work with the federal government. These communities claim that reporting those detained by local enforcement could prompt them to not report other crimes to police because they could be arrested and deported for being in the country illegally. Those officials say that would make their communities less safe.
“LAPD has never participated in programs that deputize local law enforcement to act as immigration agents, and on my watch, they never will,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
Writer’s note; deputizing is not a formal necessity as almost all Federal law includes concurrent jurisdiction with states and municipal law enforcement.