Trump Justice Dept. to follow through on threat to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities” as immigration crackdown continues
08/05/2017 / By JD Heyes / Comments
Trump Justice Dept. to follow through on threat to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities” as immigration crackdown continues

Without question one of the main issues that helped put Donald J. Trump in the White House was the issue he opened his campaign with two years ago at Trump Tower: Immigration.

Since taking office, the president has made immigration enforcement one of his priorities, even nominating one of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent illegal immigration hawks, Jeff Sessions, to be his attorney general.

In March, as The National Sentinel reported, Sessions announced that cities large and small around the country that had declared themselves to be “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens were at risk of losing some federal funding if they continued to defy federal immigration reporting requirements:

[Sessions] will begin to withhold law enforcement funding doled out by the Justice Department to cities whose local leaders have decided they have a right to ignore federal immigration laws.

In addition, Sessions will order cities to comply with federal immigration laws aimed at identifying and removing people who are in the country illegally, a key campaign pledge by President Donald J. Trump during his campaign.

Many cities ignored Sessions’ warning, and now four of them are about to find out the attorney general was very serious.

As Fox News reported, Sessions on Thursday reinforced his earlier pledge to go after sanctuary cities warning the administration was prepared to withhold funding from four cities currently dealing with significant gun violence:

The Justice Department sent letters to police departments in Baltimore, Md., Albuquerque, N.M., Stockton and San Bernardino, Calif. telling them if they wanted federal help to root out drug trafficking and gang crime, they’d have to work with federal immigration authorities.


Interestingly, Chicago and Los Angeles were left off that list, but their time may be coming if they continue to defy Sessions, as is expected.

In addition to cutting funding, the Justice Department also demanded the cities give federal immigration and customs authorities access to their jails, as well as provide the department with advance notice anytime they get ready to release someone who is being sought for breaking immigration laws.

All four of the cities named had shown an interest in working with the Justice Department’s newly created Public Safety Partnership, which allows them to access federal agents, analysts, and technology, so their communities have more crime-fighting resources.

“Based on our review,” said an Aug. 3 letter from the department, “we have concluded that your jurisdiction has levels of violence that exceed the national average, that your jurisdiction is ready to receive the intensive assistance the Department is prepared to provide, and that your jurisdiction is taking steps to reduce its violent crime.”

The Justice Department is asking all four cities to supply evidence they are complying with federal law and other requirements to identify those people in the country illegally and assist the federal government in having them removed. Justice set an Aug. 18 deadline for supplying that proof.

Last week, Sessions told U.S. cities and jurisdictions that they must meet similar conditions or possibly forfeit millions of dollars’ worth of federal grant money aimed at bolstering local law enforcement. The attorney general’s guidance was in line with his earlier pledge to crack down on sanctuary cities. (Related: Attorney General Sessions will keep busy just closing down ‘sanctuary cities.’)

“His threat didn’t sit well with some — prompting a defiant push back on the request,” Fox News reported.

What these cities and counties don’t seem to understand or are refusing to acknowledge is that the federal government has every right and all the authority to make the rules regarding the doling out of taxpayer money; if they want a piece of that pie, then they should have to comply with the government’s wishes.

The rules have been in place now for years, but Obama just chose not to have them enforced.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

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