Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced another tool in the fight against “sanctuary cities” Thursday.
According to the press release, participation in the Justice Department’s Public Safety Partnership (PSP) program will be limited to those jurisdictions that “show a commitment to reducing crime stemming from illegal immigration.” This is yet another measure aimed squarely at reining in so-called “sanctuary cities” with federal pressure.
In an accompanying statement, the attorney general said:
By protecting criminals from immigration enforcement, cities and states with so-called ‘sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe. We saw that just last week, when an illegal alien who had been deported twenty times and was wanted by immigration authorities allegedly sexually assaulted an elderly woman in Portland, a city that refuses to cooperate with immigration enforcement.
By forcing police to go into more dangerous situations to re-arrest the same criminals, these policies endanger law enforcement officers more than anyone. The Department of Justice is committed to supporting our law enforcement at every level, and that’s why we’re asking ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions to stop making their jobs harder. By taking simple, common-sense considerations into account, we are encouraging every jurisdiction in this country to cooperate with federal law enforcement. That’s what 80 percent of the American people want them to do, and that will ultimately make all of us safer—especially law enforcement on our streets.
The requirement for PSP participation will now include local jurisdictions taking certain measures to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security, including allowing federal authorities to enter jail facilities and committing to providing 48 hours notice before suspected illegal aliens are released. These criteria are similar to those in so-called 287(g) agreements with local jurisdictions like 18 counties in Texas entered into this week.
The news comes on the heels of the final announcement that Byrne Grants, a major means by which the Justice Department supports local law enforcement, will also be denied to non-compliant sanctuary cities.
“These policies are driven by politics and do not protect their citizens. We will fight them with every lawful tool available,” Sessions said of continued resistance.