Sanctuary cities threatened with loss of federal grant money

Mayors in some of the nation's largest cities, including NY and Chicago, have been defiant in the face of promises by the Trump administration to withhold funding if local law enforcement refuses to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

On July 7, 2016 the Obama Department of Justice released updated guidelines that disqualify Sanctuary Cities from receiving DOJ grant money if they are found to be in violation of 8 USC § 1373. The department also noted that the Big Apple is among the many American cities that is "crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime", and concluded by stipulating, "someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets".

President Donald Trump famously campaigned on a promise to eject illegal immigrants and to go after the cities that were protecting them.

"What's so troubling about this press release is, here's the Department of Justice on their letterhead and this was deliberately leaked to the whole country". "Maybe we should ask them if we're soft on crime", he said.

Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe officials said they don't believe their cities will be singled out.

Frank Shuftan, a spokesman for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, says the county "complies with all applicable federal laws".

They include others such as California, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. Sessions links immigration to a variety of social problems, including what he calls a rise in crime. They were highlighted in a May 2016 report by the Justice Department's inspector general that found they have policies or rules that interfere with information-sharing among local law enforcement and immigration agents.

"The federal government, it's their place to enforce the immigration laws and they do", Berry said.

The County remains mindful of its voluntarily undertaken obligations in various state and federal grant applicants to uphold all lawful federal statutes and regulations.

California, for instance, received $30.5 million from the Byrne grant, Texas got $21.4 million. We are in compliance with the law and will share the required legal opinion by the date requested.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said that community is hardly succumbing to violence. Access to healthcare and transit is up and we have a booming downtown.

The jurisdictions must now prove they are no longer thwarting Homeland Security's efforts to deport illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been touring different areas along the southern USA border with Mexico, vowing to dismantle violent drug cartels and transnational gangs like MS-13. They are more interested in overturning decades of civil rights advances than public safety.

The grants under threat-which amounted to roughly $24.5 million for Chicago a year ago, according to the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, -go in most part to law enforcement efforts.

So let's be very clear what's going on, because both sides have good political reason to overemphasize what's happening in order to appeal to their voting bases: These letters are not demanding that police and municipal governments assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in rounding up illegal immigrants subject to deportation orders.

  • Joanne Flowers