Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he is cracking down on sanctuary cities; cutting billions of dollars in law enforcement grants.
The Department of Justice will hand out $4 billion in federal law enforcement grants over the balance of this fiscal year which ends in September. Sessions told reporters at the White House he will be working to prevent any of it from going to sanctuary jurisdictions, The Washington Times reported.
“Countless Americans would be alive today … if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended,” General Sessions told reporters. The AG stated he is using a tactic that began under AG Loretta Lynch.
Not only can the Attorney General withhold grants from this year’s funding requests, the DOJ can actually claw back grants made in prior years to jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with immigration officials, U.S. Representative John Culberson (R-TX) told Breitbart Texas.
Culberson began working on defunding sanctuary jurisdictions with then-Attorney General Lynch, Breitbart Texas reported in December. Using the “power of the purse” entrusted to Congress, Culberson told a group of supporters in December that he has been able to “step on the air hose” of Obama’s DOJ and force the certification of ten sanctuary jurisdictions as not being in compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, an existing law that requires 100 percent cooperation from local and state jurisdictions in order to receive DOJ grant funding. That law was signed by President Bill Clinton in the 1980s to force local jurisdictions to cooperate with immigration officers.
“99 percent is not good enough,” Culberson stated. “These jurisdictions must cooperate 100 percent in order to qualify for these DOJ grants. They must choose between protecting illegal aliens and receiving federal funds.”
The DOJ Office of Inspector General previously certified 10 jurisdictions as not being in compliance with that law and eligible for cuts in funding:
- The State of Connecticut
- The State of California
- Orleans Parish, Louisiana
- New York City
- Cook County, Illinois
- Miami-Dade County, Florida
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Clark County, Nevada
These 10 jurisdictions received 65 percent of the law enforcement grants allocated in FY2015 as of March 2016.
“It is not just future funds that are at risk for these sanctuary jurisdictions,” Culberson told Breitbart Texas. “The DOJ can force them to reimburse funds received from these grant programs in the past. This means, the State of California could be forced to repay the more than $3 billion in grants received over the past 10 years.”
The AG announced three funding programs that will be cut from sanctuary jurisdictions this year. Those include the COPS, Byrne, and State Criminal Alien Assistance Program grants.
Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials began releasing a report showing criminal aliens released by sanctuary jurisdictions after immigration officers placed holds on inmates. Texas led the nation with well over 70 percent of those released. In the initial report covering January 25 through February 3, 206 criminal aliens were released. Many of these are violent felons.
The jurisdictions listed in this report could find themselves ineligible to receive grants this year.
Following President Donald Trump’s January announcement calling for a crackdown on sanctuary jurisdictions, Miami-Dade County immediately reversed course and rescinded its sanctuary policy, Breitbart News’ Katie McHugh reported. “I want to make sure we don’t put in jeopardy the millions of funds we get from the federal government for a $52,000 issue,” Mayor Carlos Giménez stated. “It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be arresting more people. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be enforcing any immigration laws,” he added.