President Donald J. Trump launched his campaign at Trump Tower in New York City, and the very first issue he discussed was illegal immigration and, more to the point, ending it if he were elected.
Enforcement of immigration law was one of a small core set of issues Trump hammered home during his 16-month campaign, and it resonated among a majority of Americans outside California.
This week, his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is helping the president make good on his pledge to enforce immigration law while punishing so-called “sanctuary cities” – counties, cities and localities whose leaders have, for years, defied the federal government in its constitutional and statutory duty to see that the nation’s immigration laws are honored.
In a surprise announcement on Monday, Sessions, in a press conference, noted that cities refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials were not only at risk of losing federal law enforcement funds doled out by the Justice Department, but that additional funds enroute to these cities could be “clawed back” by the department if the jurisdiction they were meant for continues to flout illegal immigration statutes. (RELATED: Sessions in surprise sanctuary city announcement: Plans to withhold funding.)
“Today, I’m urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws. Moreover, the Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for DOJ grants to certify compliance with 1373 as a condition for receiving those awards,” he said.
“This policy is entirely consistent with the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs guidance that was issued just last summer under the previous administration. This guidance requires jurisdictions to comply and certify compliance with Section 1373 in order to be eligible for OJP grants,” he continued. “It also made clear that failure to remedy violations could result in withholding grants, termination of grants and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants.
“The DOJ will also take all lawful steps to claw back any fines awarded to a jurisdiction that willfully violates Section 1373,” Sessions added.
In his press conference, Sessions also warned California and Maryland against promises to transform themselves into sanctuary states.
“That would be such a mistake,” he said. “I would plead with the people of Maryland to understand this makes the state of Maryland more at risk for violence and crime, that it’s not good policy.”
Sessions added: “Countless Americans would be alive today…if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended.”
The attorney general was alluding to the fact that scores of Americans have been harmed or killed, in any number of ways, by people who were in the country illegally, either through direct criminal action like rape and murder, or by indirect actions, such as motor vehicle accidents.
No sooner than Sessions made his announcement than he got pushback from some of the usual Alt-Left suspects, including the attorney general for the state of New York, who vowed to continue flouting the law and the Trump administration. (RELATED: Attorney General Sessions will keep busy just closing down ‘sanctuary cities’.)
There is more than just pain and violence inflicted on American cities by sanctuary policies. One group, American Transparency, conducted an economic impact analysis of sanctuary city policies. The group found that not only would 106 sanctuary jurisdictions lose nearly $27 billion in federal funding (FY 2016 figures), but the policies impose an additional $500 a year per person in each sanctuary city, in what is essentially a defiance tax.
It’s not as though supporters of sanctuary cities were not forewarned. Sessions’ announcement is in line with an executive order issued by President Trump on Jan. 25 entitled, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” which denies “federal funding to sanctuary cities who choose not to comply with federal laws regarding deportation of illegal entrants,” the analysis notes.
While the outcry from the nation’s far-Left jurisdictions will be swift and loud, the fact is Democrats and former President Obama had the chance to dramatically alter U.S. immigration law when they controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House from 2008-2010. They didn’t; we got failing Obamacare instead.
Keep up with the sanctuary city conflict at Conservative.news.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.