Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke in Las Vegas, Nevada Wednesday to federal, state, and local law enforcement about ongoing efforts to combat violent crime and rein in so-called “sanctuary cities.”
Sessions said in his prepared remarks delivered at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada:
Some 300 jurisdictions in this country refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities regarding illegal aliens who commit crimes — even MS-13 gang members. These jurisdictions are protecting criminals rather than their law-abiding residents. I want to be clear about this: local police are not the problem. I know that you want to help. The problem is that politicians have forbidden you to help.
The Attorney General went on to tout the recent passage of two immigration bills heavily supported by Sessions and the rest of the Trump administration, “Kate’s Law,” which increases penalties for illegal reentry to the United States, especially for those with existing criminal records, and the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” which withdraws certain federal grant money from those jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts. As Sessions put it:
Now most cities and states do not have these policies—because the vast majority of the American people agree that these policies are wrong. According to one poll, 80 percent of the public believes that cities should turn over criminal illegal aliens to immigration officials.
Fortunately, Congress is listening to the American people and taking action. Almost two weeks ago, the House passed bipartisan legislation would increase penalties on illegal aliens who break our laws and the jurisdictions that attempt to shield them from justice. I hope that my former colleagues in the Senate will take up this legislation soon.
Both bills are now pending in the Senate.
“The American people want and deserve a lawful immigration system that keeps us safe and serves our national interest. And this is not asking too much. This expectation is fair; it is reasonable, and it is our duty to meet it,” Sessions went on to say.
No mention was made of the further-reaching Davis-Oliver Act that includes, in addition to the provisions of the two bills passed by the House, a greater crackdown on sanctuary cities and other policies facilitating illegal aliens. That bill passed the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee in May, but was not brought to a vote of the full House, which instead voted on the two smaller bills.