Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice began reviewing compliance letters this week received from 10 jurisdictions across the country that were put on notice by the Attorney General in May. The states and localities risk losing certain federal grants because of their policies that shield illegal aliens from federal law enforcement efforts.
The 10 cities were identified by an Inspector General's report last year, and in May, the DOJ ordered them to submit letters by the end of June explaining why their policies were not in violation of 8 U.S.C. 1373.
The 10 jurisdictions include:
- State of Connecticut
- State of California
- Orleans Parish (Louisiana)
- New York City
- Cook County (Illinois)
- City of Chicago
- Miami-Dade County
- Milwaukee, Wisc.
- Clark County (Nevada)
"It is not enough to assert compliance, the jurisdictions must actually be in compliance," Attorney General Sessions said in a statement earlier this week. "Sanctuary cities put the lives and well-being of their residents at risk by shielding criminal illegal aliens from federal immigration authorities. These policies give sanctuary to criminals, not to law-abiding Americans. The Trump Administration is determined to keep every American neighborhood safe and that is why we have asked these cities to comply with federal law, specifically 8 U.S.C. 1373. The Department of Justice has now received letters from ten jurisdictions across the United States claiming that they are in compliance with what federal law requires of them, and we will examine these claims carefully. Residents have a right to expect basic compliance with federal law from their local and state governments."
The IG review, which was conducted while Barack Obama was in office, noted that the 10 jurisdictions were selected because they provide a mix of states, counties, and cities, and they accounted for 63% of the federal grants issued that could be at risk. The IG's office also examined the jurisdictions' specific policies regarding immigration enforcement and found that they were "inconsistent with the plain language of Section 1373 prohibiting a local government from restricting a local official from sending immigration status information to ICE."
Last month, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. The bill would clarify the federal definition of a sanctuary jurisdiction and add penalties into the federal code.
Updated: Fri, Jul 21st 2017 @ 9:40am EDT