The Department of Justice announced a new set of priorities for one of its law enforcement grants that will place so-called “sanctuary cities” behind jurisdictions that cooperate in federal immigration enforcement.
According to DOJ documents acquired by Breitbart News, the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), which issues one of the department’s most important discretionary grant programs for state and local law enforcement agencies, will allow applicants for this year’s cycle to certify their cooperation with Department of Homeland Security immigration enforcement efforts. Certified cooperative agencies will receive “priority consideration in funding decisions” for the fiscal year 2017 COPS grant program.
The requirements for certification roughly mirror the requirements DOJ put in place in July to prevent non-cooperative sanctuary cities from participating in the department’s Bryne Grant program. Agencies will pledge that DHS officials will have access to their correctional and detention facilities in order to check aliens’ immigration status. They also must certify that they will give at least 48-hours notice to federal authorities before releasing aliens for which DHS requests such notification.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a press release accompanying the new standards:
Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities. This cooperation is supported by the vast majority of the American people, and jurisdictions with these policies in place should be acknowledged for their commitment to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration. Today, the Justice Department announced it will recognize jurisdictions that commit to the rule of law by awarding additional points in the application scoring process for COPS Office grants. My hope is that this recognition will further incentivize every jurisdiction in America to collaborate with federal law enforcement and help us make this country safer.
Refusal to, or even outright policy prohibiting officers from meeting these requirements is one the hallmarks of “sanctuary cities” like Chicago, IL. Departments in these jurisdictions will, therefore, not be able to apply for the special consideration of their cooperative sister agencies.
According to the documents acquired by Breitbart News, agencies will only have until September 19 to make their certification of cooperation. Additional time will be given to law enforcement agencies involved in assisting the victims of Hurricane Harvey. These affected departments will have until September 29 to apply. Sources at DOJ indicated that these same agencies will be in line for additional consideration based on Harvey for COPS grants in the next fiscal year.