Monday at the White House press briefing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned municipalities that have implemented the policy of sanctuary cities, which he described as making “our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets.”
Sessions said the Department of Justice would require that jurisdictions that are seeking or applying for DoJ grants to certify compliance with 8 U.S.C. 1373 as a condition of receiving those awards.”
Sessions said, “According to one recent poll, 80 percent of Americans believe that cities that make arrests — that arrest illegal immigrants for crimes should be required to turn them over to immigration authorities. Unfortunately, some states and cities have adopted policies designed to frustrate this enforcement of immigration laws. This includes refuses to detain known felons under federal detainer requests or otherwise failing to comply with these laws. For example, the Department of Homeland Security recently issued a report showing that in a single week, there were more than 200 instances of jurisdictions refusing to honor I.C.E. Detainer requests with respect to individuals charged or convicted of a serious crime. These charges and convictions against these aliens include drug trafficking, hit-and-run, rape, sex offenses against a child and even murder. Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets.”
He added, “Today, I am urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws, including 8 U.S.C. Section 1373. Moreover, the Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for Department of Justice grants to certify compliance with 1373 as a condition of receiving those awards. This policy is entirely consistent with the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs guidance that was issued just last summer under the previous administration. This guidance requires state and local jurisdictions to comply and certify compliance with Section 1373 in order to be eligible for OJP grants. It also made clear that failure to remedy violations could result in withholding grants, termination of grants, and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants.”
He concluded by saying, “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 immigration laws and to rethink these policies. Such policies make their cities and states less safe. Public safety as well as national security are at stake and put them at risk of losing federal dollars.”
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