On Wednesday, the Department of Justice told 29 “sanctuary” cities and counties that in order to continue receiving federal grants and funds they must comply with federal immigration laws, reports the Washington Examiner.
Big cities, like Seattle and Los Angeles, as well as smaller ones, like Lawrence, Massachusetts, are being affected by this announcement. The Department of Justice sent out 29 letters to jurisdictions receiving public safety grants under the Justice Department’s Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. These jurisdictions have until Dec. 8 to comply with federal immigration laws.
“‘I urge all jurisdictions found to be potentially out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents. We urge jurisdictions to not only comply with Section 1373, but also to establish sensible and effective partnerships to properly process criminal aliens,’ said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement.”
In September a federal judge blocked Session’ attempts to withhold federal grant money by ruling in favor of a preliminary injunction for the City of Chicago. The rule then temporarily applied nationwide. The case is now underway through the courts.
The jurisdictions have specific laws, policies, or practices in place that defy Section 1373. Section 1373 states that local and state governments cannot enact laws or policies that limit communication regarding citizenship or immigration status with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Customs and Border Protection.
“For example, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser put forth a policy for the city’s Department of Corrections that states ’employees shall not inquire about a person’s immigration status or contact [ICE] for purposes of initiating civil enforcement immigration proceedings,’ reports The Washington Examiner.”
In its letter to the city the order restricts requesting information regarding immigration status, which violates Section 1373.
Additionally, this is not the first time Sessions has threatened to defund sanctuary cities.
“In April, the Justice Department first sent warning letters to Sacramento, Chicago, Cook County, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, and New York City, asking them to prove compliance with federal immigration law. In July, the Justice Department said it was reviewing those nine.
In October, Chicago, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia, as well as Cook County, Ill., were told they all had a ‘last chance’ to prove they are not ‘sanctuary.'”
This effort not only supports Trump’s immigration platform, but also ensures that our cities are safe from immigrants.