Sessions: Trump administration ready to take back money given to sanctuary cities

Credit NPR

Credit NPR

So-called "sanctuary cities" that refuse to comply with immigration law will have federal funding taken away if they don't reverse their policies, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned Monday.

California's Senate President said the Attorney General's statement is nothing short of blackmail. It would also prohibit most Maryland jurisdictions from holding undocumented prisoners for 48 hours past their release date, something federal authorities sometimes request in the form of a detainer - although the prohibition would not apply if federal agents have a warrant or court order describing probable cause.

"Such policies can not continue".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks during the daily White House press briefing on Monday.

The Department of Justice, he continued, will require that cities and states seeking DOJ grants must provide proof of compliance with Section 1373 of US code Title 8 on notifying federal officials about a person's immigration status.

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Sessions cited a recent Department of Homeland Security report that he said showed there were 200 instances where jurisdictions refused to honor detainer requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for illegal immigrants charged with serious crimes, including murder, sex offenses against children, rape, hit-and-run, and drug trafficking. "They make our nation less safe but putting risky criminals back on the streets", he added.

"Well you know, Maryland is talking about a state law, to make the state a sanctuary state".

"Fundamentally, we intend to use all the lawful authority we have to make sure that our state and local officials, who are so important to law enforcement, are in synch with the federal government", he said.

During the Obama administration, he continued, the guidance made it clear that failure to remedy the violations could result in withholding or terminating trants and stopping future grants from being awarded. The department is scheduled to issue more than $4 billion in grants this year. A number of school districts around the country have filed a lawsuit in an effort to get ahead of funding cuts.

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