It seems that those who defend illegal immigration, as well as the sanctuary cities that help hide them, are going to get some bad news.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his Justice Department have given 29 sanctuary cities until Dec. 8th to justify why their policies comply with federal immigration law, lest they lose their public safety grants, according to The Washington Examiner.
The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that the States of Illinois, Vermont, and Oregon, along with 26 “sanctuary” cities across the country, were found to have policies that violate federal immigration laws, and that subsequent failure to demonstrate compliance will result in the termination of federal grants to these jurisdictions.
The 29 cities and states received separate letters stating that they have until Dec. 8th to prove they are in compliance with the Justice Departments’ Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program under Section 1373 of 8 US Code.
“I urge all jurisdictions found to be potentially out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents. We urge jurisdictions to not only comply with Section 1373, but also to establish sensible and effective partnerships to properly process criminal aliens,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement.
Specifically, Section 1373 prohibits local and state governments from implementing laws or policies that limit communication with Immigration & Customs Enforcement and Customs & Border Protection about “Information regarding the immigration or citizenship status,” of individuals.
Earlier in September, a federal judge blocked Mr. Sessions’ attempt to withhold the federal grant money. US District Judge Harry Leinenweber in the Northern District of Illinois ruled in favor of the City of Chicago in its request for a preliminary injunction, a ruling that was applied nationwide – albeit temporarily.
The Justice Department first sent warning letters to Sacramento, Cook County, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Miami, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, and New York City, asking them to prove that they comply with the statute. In October, the department further said that these cities had one “last chance” to prove they are not “sanctuary” cities.
“Jurisdictions that adopt so-called ‘sanctuary policies’ also adopt the view that the protection of criminal aliens is more important than the protection of law-abiding citizens and of the rule of law,” added Mr. Sessions, according to The Washington Times.
Not only will those 29 cities and states be denied future grant funding, but they may be asked to pay back more than $17 million in past federal grant payments. “DOJ’s threat to cut off funding for important public safety programs is counterproductive and wrong-headed. Our city is safer when all our residents trust local law enforcement,” said Washington, DC Attorney General, Karl Racine, in response to this development.
29 sanctuary cities have until Dec. 8th to prove their compliance with federal immigration law or face the loss of sizable grants. Will they prove they are in compliance?
Hours before Mr. Sessions made this announcement, however, another federal judge ruled in favor of Philadelphia in a similar lawsuit, one in which the State of Pennsylvania sued the DOJ in August. The legal battle sought to prove that Philadelphia was not a sanctuary city in the legal sense and that the government could not deny the city a $1.5 million grant. The Daily Caller reported that US District Judge Michael Baylson ruled against the Attorney General in this case.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ demands, if they can withstand the scrutiny of liberal judges that wish to stop him, could be a game changer for the illegal immigration issue in this country.