Attorney General Jeff Sessions ripped the sanctuary city policies of Chicago, Illinois, in a heated exchange with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday.
Sessions, who has been an advocate for pro-American immigration reforms for decades, slammed city of Chicago officials who have implemented an immigration policy that protects criminal illegal aliens from deportation.
“I think that politicians cannot say that, if you remove a violent criminal from America that’s illegally in the country and he’s arrested by the Chicago police and put in the Chicago jail — that, once they’re released, they shouldn’t be turned over to the federal ICE officers so they can be removed from the country,” Sessions said.
“They were here illegally, to begin with… much less commit another crime, and then should not be — how does that make the city of Chicago safer when you don’t remove… criminals who are illegally in the country?” Sessions asked Durbin.
Durbin slammed Sessions’ efforts at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to withhold certain grant funding from sanctuary cities like Chicago. But, Sessions refuted Durbin’s claims, saying his DOJ is not asking local Chicago police to take on federal immigration roles, but rather simply notifying federal immigration enforcement officials when an illegal alien is arrested in the city.
“I do not want to not have grants go to Chicago,” Sessions said. “But we need their support.”
“When somebody’s arrested in the jail that’s due to be deported, we just simply ask that they call us, so we can come by and pick them up if they need to be removed,” Sessions explained. “That’s not happening, and we’ve got to work through it some way.”
Last week, Sessions warned sanctuary cities across the United States that they would see their federal funding to local law enforcement cut off should they continue pro-illegal alien policies that defy federal immigration law.