Skip to main content

U.S. attorney general: sanctuary cities may lose Justice Department grants



U.S. cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities may lose millions of dollars in grant money from the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday.


So-called "sanctuary cities" help illegal immigrants avoid deportation by limiting cooperation with federal agencies, often by refusing to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they plan to release an illegal immigrant from incarceration.

President Donald Trump, who made a crackdown on illegal immigration a key part of his campaign, ordered the government to cut off funding to sanctuary jurisdictions in a Jan. 25 executive order. 

That order has yet to be put into action by his administration but Sessions' announcement seemed to be the first step in doing so.

"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 said at a White House news briefing.

The Justice Department grants typically are used to help police improve crime fighting techniques, buy new equipment and assist victims of crime.

The Department of Homeland Security has not yet named which jurisdictions they consider to be sanctuary cities but it could have an impact on some of the nation's largest population centers, including New York City and Los Angeles County, which all have policies that place some restrictions on cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

Three lawsuits have been filed in federal court challenging Trump's executive order, arguing that it could harm funding unrelated to immigration, such as education.

Sessions did not say whether he would order the Education Department or other federal agencies to choke off funding to sanctuary jurisdictions as well. 

Courts have ruled the federal government can only cut grant money if it is directly related to a particular violation of federal law.

Sessions may find his ability to influence local decision-making through the Justice Department's purse to be limited, because only a fraction of the Justice Department’s grant dollars flow directly to the cities and counties that determine whether to cooperate with federal immigration agents.

In the 2016 fiscal year, federal records show the Justice Department doled out $1 billion to state governments and $430 million to nonprofit groups but only $136 million directly to city and county governments.

Session said the Justice Department plans to award $4.1 billion in grant money in the current fiscal year.

Sessions' statement drew swift pushback from New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who said his office would continue helping local governments "have the tools they need to protect their immigrant communities."


NO SANCTUARY STATES

So far no state has adopted policies that prevent cooperation with immigration authorities.

Last week, Maryland's Democratic-controlled House of Delegates approved legislation to bar police statewide from checking the immigration status of individuals they arrest or from keeping them locked up longer than otherwise warranted at the request of federal agents seeking to deport them.

The state's Republican governor, Larry Hogan, has said he would veto the bill.

Sessions is known for being a strong proponent of immigration enforcement.

"I strongly urge our nation's states and cities and counties to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws and to rethink these policies," Sessions said.

He gave as an example Kate Steinle, who was shot to death in San Francisco two years ago by illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez, who had already been deported five times and had seven felony convictions. 

Trump also cited the Steinle case during his campaign.

The city had released Sanchez from custody in another case even though immigration authorities had filed a request that he be kept in custody until they could pick him up for removal, Sessions said.

San Francisco may not be affected by the new Justice Department restrictions, as the city and county did not receive any funding from the department in the most recent fiscal year.

However, Sessions' order could impact other sanctuary jurisdictions. 

New Orleans, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City, which were all singled out as possibly noncompliant by the Justice Department’s inspector general last year, collectively received $15 million in the past fiscal year for projects including crime prevention, and a missing children’s task force.


According to Trump’s executive order, Sessions would have to wait until the Homeland Security Department determines what constitutes a "sanctuary city" before he could decide whether to restrict funding. 

DHS last week published a list of roughly 120 cities and counties that it deems uncooperative, although the agency has not finalized the list.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Armenian protesters block traffic, railways & airport as protest leader loses PM bid

Anti-government protesters disrupted traffic in Armenia’s capital, blocking railways and roads leading to Yerevan International Airport, after the parliament voted against opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan’s bid for interim PM.
Protesters managed to block streets connecting downtown Yerevan to residential districts, disrupting transportation in Armenia’s capital, footage from the scene shows. 
Yerevan’s metro system has also been paralyzed as demonstrators sit on the tracks, preventing trains from passing.
Meanwhile, protesters disrupted traffic on a road leading to Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport, located just 12km from the center of the city. 
Consequently, some passengers had to go the rest of the way on foot in order to catch their flights, according to Sputnik news agency.
Railway services have also been disrupted all across the country amid the demonstrations, a spokesman for South Caucasus Railways confirmed to Interfax. 
Some other highways, including the one connecting th…

Iran Killing Command: The use of firearms in dealing with protesters

The document you see on the image is the order of the commander of the Tehran repressive force to all the units based in the city.

Based on this agenda, the mercenaries of the corrupt government Islamic Republic of Iran have been allowed to use firearms in the event of any protest movement against people by the regime.
This is a murder command.
The repressive force of the law, known to the world's famous police and guardians, should protect the lives of its citizens, by freeing their mercenaries, they allow them to murder Iranians who are protesting the corruption in the government and you have the important message that if you come to the streets in protest of corruption and torture and massacre, we will kill you.
Because, according to criminal Khomeini, maintenance of the system is obligatory.
A corrupt government that is so hideous that spend billions of dollars from the national treasury and popular capitalto the suppression of its people and the countries of the region, must be ov…

ایران فرمان قتل : دستور استفاده از سلاح گرم در برخورد با معترضان

سندی که در تصویر میبینید دستور فرمانده نیروی سرکوبگر انتظامی تهران به همه یگانهای مستقر در این شهر است.
بر اساس این دستور کار ، مزدوران حکومت فاسد نظام جمهوری اسلامی اجازه یافته اند که درصورت بروز هرگونه جنبش اعتراضی از سوی مردم علیه رژیم ، از سلاح گرم استفاده کنند.
این دستور یک فرمان قتل است.
نیروی سرکوبگر انتظامی که به ظاهر و تعریف شناخته شده پلیس در سراسر جهان ، میبایست حافظ جان شهروندان باشد ، با آزاد گذاشتن دست مزدوران چکمه پوش خود انها را مجاز به قتل ایرانیان معترض به فسادهای موجود درلایه های حکومت میکنند و این پیام مهم را در خود دارد که اگر در اعتراض به  فساد و شکنجه و کشتار به خیابانها بریزید شما را خواهیم کشت.
چرا که به گفته خمینی دجال، حفظ نظام از اوجب واجبات است.
حکومت فاسدی که انقدر وقیح هست که میلیاردها دلار از خزانه ملی و سرمایه مردمی را صرف سرکوب مردم خود و کشورهای منطقه میکند باید سرنگون کرد.
اکنون چهل سال است که کشور ما به اشغال این ملایان جنایکتارخونخوار و اسلام تحمیلی در آمده است .
هنوز باورش برای برخی سخت است که درک کنند کشور ما به معنای واقعی کلمه از سوی بنیادگرایان الله…