For months, we’ve been reporting on the war of words between Donald Trump’s Justice Department and sanctuary cities, which prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement from talking to local officials and interviewing inmates, and refuse to notify ICE when they release aliens ICE wants to deport. But it won’t be a war of words for much longer.
The Washington Examiner reports that the DOJ has informed 29 jurisdictions that shield illegal immigrants from federal immigration law, including the states of Illinois, Oregon, and Vermont, and the District of Columbia, that they have until December 8 to prove they’ve shaped up, or else their federal law enforcement aid grants will begin to dry up.
Here’s the complete list of jurisdictions which have been given this ultimatum:
– Albany, New York
– Berkeley, California
– Bernalillo County, New Mexico
– Burlington, Vermont
– Contra Costa County, California
– City and County of Denver, Colorado
– Fremont, California
– Jackson, Mississippi
– King County, Washington
– Lawrence, Massachusetts
– Los Angeles, California
– Louisville Metro, Kentucky
– Middlesex, New Jersey
– Monterey County, California
– Multnomah County, Oregon
– Newark, New Jersey
– Riverside County, California
– Sacramento County, California
– City and County of San Francisco, California
– Santa Ana, California
– Santa Clara County, California
– Seattle, Washington
– Sonoma County, California
– Washington, D.C.
– Watsonville, California
– West Palm Beach, Florida
The Examiner adds:
The department warned the 29 jurisdictions in separate letters that in order to continue receiving public safety grants under the Justice Department’s Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, the jurisdictions must prove compliance with Section 1373 of 8 U.S. Code by Dec. 8.
“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 […]
The Justice Department cited the specific laws, policies or practices in each letter that it said defy Section 1373. The statute prohibits local and state governments from enacting laws or policies that limit communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Customs and Border Protection about “information regarding the immigration or citizenship status.”
Unfortunately, the Examiner notes, a federal judge has blocked one of Sessions’ previous attempts to withhold law enforcement money from cities that don’t want to enforce the law (think about that). So it’s a given that we’re in for another legal battle, which will test not only whether the Trump Administration is willing to take this all the way to the Supreme Court (on which we should be cautiously optimistic), but whether Congress will finally find the stomach to reform our out-of-control judiciary (don’t count on it).
Another issue to keep an eye on: as I covered back in August, 29 is just the beginning; there are a whopping 261 jurisdictions across the country that flout federal immigration law. The ones singled out this week are a good start, but it’s critical that the administration makes perfectly clear that it will be getting to the rest of them in short order.