'Sanctuary Cities' Will Lose Grants From Department Of Justice, Says Jeff Sessions
Mar 29, 2017 12:08 PM EDT
On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned that the Department of Justice will blocks grants to the jurisdictions of "sanctuary cities" that fail to demonstrate compliance with a federal law. He especially emphasized the failure of sharing immigration information.
At a White House appearance reported by the Washington Post, Sessions explained the risks of law enforcement failing to comply with federal requests to detain immigrants who are charged or convicted of serious crimes in sanctuary cities. He cited a recent Department of Homeland Security report that showed there were more than 200 instances of jurisdictions that refused to honor the requests of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain charged or convicted immigrants, within just one week.
"The charges and convictions against these aliens include drug trafficking, hit and run, rape, sex offenses against a child and even murder," Sessions said in his remark "Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on our streets."
Sessions cited the case of Kate Steinle, who was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant who was later faced with seven felony convictions. Probably for reasons as such, President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January that examines ways to withhold federal grant money to sanctuary cities that don't report illegal immigrants in the country to federal authorities, according to ABA Journal.
Sessions added that he would require jurisdictions seeking Department of Justice's grants to certify compliance with Section 1373. It is a federal law that bars local law enforcement agencies from refusing to share immigration status information with federal authorities. He also promised that the department would "take all lawful steps to claw back any funds" awarded to jurisdictions involving sanctuary cities that violate Section 1373.
However, it is unclear which jurisdiction could lose money for non-compliance. Some cities apart from sanctuary cities that bar disclosure of immigration information have exceptions, and refusing a detainer request is not a violation of Section 1373.