WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he’s tired of playing games with cities who refuse to comply with federal immigration orders and he’s prepared to hit them where it hurts…in the wallet.
In compliance with president Trump’s campaign promise to enforce often lax federal immigration laws, Sessions announced on Monday that he’ll begin punishing sanctuary cities who refuse to comply with federal immigration orders by withholding potentially billions of dollars in federal money. And if that doesn’t work, Sessions says he will begin recalling funds the cities have already received, which could total billions more.
Sanctuaries are cities and jurisdictions that often refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agents’ efforts to deport illegal immigrants, typically be refusing to comply with detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) whenever an illegal immigrant is arrested.
Speaking at the White House, Sessions referenced several high profile crimes committed by illegal aliens that resulted in the deaths of innocent Americans.
“Countless Americans would be alive today … if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended,” Mr. Sessions said.
The move is a stark contrast to the policies of the Obama administration who often looked the other way in regard to illegal immigration.
“Such policies cannot continue,” he said. “They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the street.”
The mayors of several major cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, have publicly refused to cooperate with the Trump administration in regard to it’s illegal immigration crackdown and say they will continue to fight what they call “racist” policies.
Shortly after Sessions spoke, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, an outspoken critic of Trump, said he will fight any efforts to defund sanctuary cities his state.
“My office will continue to ensure local governments have the tools they need to legally protect their immigrant communities – and we won’t stop fighting to beat back President Trump’s un-American immigration policies,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
Just days into Trump’s role as commander-in-chief, he ordered the Department of Homeland Security to publish a weekly list of all detainer requests turned down by local jails. The first report was submitted by DHS earlier this month and included more than 100 cities and towns that Sessions says he will now hit hard for refusing to comply.