Sessions repeats Trump threat that Justice Dept. may deny grant money

"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", he said.

The fight over so-called sanctuary cities is flaring up again, pitting the Trump administration against places like NY that have passed measures limiting cooperation with federal agencies over undocumented immigrants.

"We are going to become this administration's worst nightmare", said New York City council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

His comments were in line with an executive order issued by President Donald Trump in January that threatened to cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities.

"When cities and states refuse to help enforce immigration laws, our nation is less safe", Sessions said. In his executive order, he stated that it is the policy of the executive branch to ensure that states and cities comply with all federal laws, including all immigration laws. A pullback in Department of Justice grants could be massively impactful; according to ABC News, the Department's Office of Justice Programs is expected to award $4.1 billion in grants during the current fiscal year.

Following quote is from Kyle Huelsman, Policy Manager of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) - " By conflating ICE detainer holds and federal immigration law, Jeff Sessions is using "alternative facts" to hoodwink the American people.

For that money to keep flowing, Sessions said local jurisdictions will need to certify they comply with immigration laws and that they don't block access to immigration or citizenship data. "Smart law enforcement is built on intelligence gathering and trust, which are dramatically undermined once the cop on the corner is asking victims of crime about their immigration status".

"What I'm saying today is that essentially the policies of the Obama administration that were issued last July make clear that you should not be receiving certain federal funds if you're not in compliance with (Section) 1373", he said in response to a question. One of the biggest areas of disagreement between cities and the federal government is over allowing federal immigration officers to make arrests in local jails and prisons.

"Such policies can not continue".

De León called the move "blackmail" and said that President Trump's "inhumane and counterproductive mass-deportation" of illegal immigrants is "unconstitutional and will fail".

A federal showdown with sanctuary cities continues to heat up.

"These are illegal aliens who have invaded our country", Mendoza said, noting that the statistics show a disturbing trend of illegal immigrant crime.

NY attorney general Eric Schneiderman didn't seem too anxious about Session's threats. Gym said some landlords have used Trump's hardline immigration rhetoric to expel immigrant tenants.

  • Larry Hoffman