The Justice Department sent letters on Wednesday to four U.S. cities that call themselves “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants because they violate federal laws and refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in deporting illegal immigrants who’ve been detained for criminal activity.
When President Trump took office, there were dozens of U.S. cities and some 600 counties that publicly declared themselves “sanctuaries.” Trump quickly responded in an effort to crack down on illegal immigrants still residing in the U.S.
He issued an executive order in January to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities.
The letters are the “last chance” for sanctuary cities before they lose huge amounts of federal funding.
NBC News reports:
The Justice Department has given four major U.S. cities a “last chance” to prove they are not so-called sanctuary cities before losing millions of dollars in critical crime-fighting aid, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday.
Chicago, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia were all determined to have “laws, policies or practices” that violated a federal statute that requires jurisdictions to comply with federal immigration officials and help to deport suspected undocumented immigrants held in local jails, according to the department.
Sanctuary cities are local governments that limit police cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
“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,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
Sessions has repeatedly vowed to withhold federal public safety grants from cities that do not cooperate, and his threat Thursday was the latest effort by the Trump administration to hamstring local authorities who refuse to help federal agents detain and deport people living in the country illegally.
The areas warned in the letters have until October 27th to remove the policies which refuse to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Justice Department cleared counties in Wisconsin and Nevada, deciding that they have met federal requirements for immigration, but New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia are expected to change their policies immediately, or receive serious funding cuts.
NBC News continues:
The department sent the letters on Wednesday to the four cities as well as Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago and its sprawling suburbs.
Each jurisdiction has until Oct. 27 to demonstrate they do not have policies in place that restrict law enforcement officers and city employees from fully cooperating with federal immigration officers about the immigration status of criminals who may be in the country illegally.
In the same announcement, the department cleared four other jurisdictions, including Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and Clark County, Nevada, stating that they did not violate the federal statute.
Leftists critical of the announcement say that illegal immigrants may be less likely to turn themselves into state and local law enforcement. If illegal immigrants knew that they were protected by sanctuary city policies, then why would it be a problem to change those soft policies?
Chicago even tried to sue the Justice Department in August, claiming that by deporting illegal immigrants who were incarcerated for crimes, federal government was trying to force the city into violating peoples’ rights.
Nobody who shirked this country’s immigration laws to enter or remain in the U.S. illegally has a right to avoid ICE, particularly after being arrested for a crime.
Now that millions of dollars are on the line for these four cities, have they seen the last of their sanctuary policies?
Let us know what you think, and sound off in the comments below.