As announced this Tuesday, sanctuary cities that fail to meet certain requirements risk losing access to millions of dollars in law enforcement grants.
The requirement is twofold:
- Cities must notify authorities 48 hours before releasing an immigrant that is wanted by ICE
- Cities must allow DHS officials into their jails to interview inmates.
Giving agents the ability to interview inmates “would knock aside a major hurdle for immigration agents trying to carry out Mr. Trump’s policies,” reports The New York Times. “Instead of trying to round up unauthorized immigrants on the street or during raids, they would be able to collect their targets straight from local jails.”
The new policy is the next step in the Trump Administration’s broader goal to decrease illegal immigration by tightening our borders and punishing sanctuary cities for their failure to obey federal law.
“This is what the American people should be able to expect from their cities and states,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Under previous rules, cities looking for grant money were simply required to show that they did not prohibit local cops from communicating with ICE agents.
“So-called sanctuary policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” said Sessions. “These policies also encourage illegal immigration and even human trafficking by perpetuating the lie that in certain cities, illegal aliens can live outside the law.”
President Trump has long sought to withhold federal money from cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement.
American cities should be sanctuaries “for law abiding Americans,” said Trump Tuesday at a campaign-style rally in Ohio. “Not for criminals and gang members that we want the hell out of our country!”
One of his earlier moves was to ask the DHS to periodically release lists of jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with ICE and the crimes committed by illegal aliens they released from prison. As I wrote in March, the first such list detailed crimes including sexual assault, domestic violence, and drunk driving.
Trump attempted to withhold grant money from sanctuary cities earlier this year, but the policy was blocked by a federal judge in California.
The policy announced this week is different than the previous policy in that it requires advance notice before illegals are released, but does not require cities to hold inmates after they have finished their sentences.
Despite continuous threats from the Trump Administration, several big cities across the country have vowed to maintain sanctuary policies. San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera is actually suing the Trump Administration over its attempts to withhold funding to sanctuary cities, arguing that the newest policy violates the Constitution.
The new policy will take effect in September.