The Department of Justice announced that any jurisdiction who refuses to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts will no longer be eligible to receive money from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Programs (“Byrne JAG”). Congress can allocate up to $1.095 billion a year on the Byrne JAG program making it one of the DOJ’s largest federal grant programs for state and local jurisdictions.

In order for Byrne JAG recipients to receive the funds they will be required to:

  • Certify compliance with section 1373, a federal statute applicable to state and local governments that generally bars restrictions on communications between state and local agencies and officials at the Department of Homeland Security.

  • Permit personnel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to access any detention facility in order to meet with an alien and inquire as to his or her right to be or remain in the United States.

  • Provide at least 48 hours advance notice to DHS regarding the scheduled release date and time of an alien in the jurisdiction’s custody when DHS requests such notice in order to take custody of the alien.

"So-called 'sanctuary' policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in the press release. “These policies also encourage illegal immigration and even human trafficking by perpetuating the lie that in certain cities, illegal aliens can live outside the law.  This can have tragic consequences, like the 10 deaths we saw in San Antonio this weekend. As part of accomplishing the Department of Justice's top priority of reducing violent crime, we must encourage these 'sanctuary' jurisdictions to change their policies and partner with federal law enforcement to remove criminals. From now on, the Department will only provide Byrne JAG grants to cities and states that comply with federal law, allow federal immigration access to detention facilities, and provide 48 hours notice before they release an illegal alien wanted by federal authorities. This is consistent with long-established cooperative principles among law enforcement agencies. This is what the American people should be able to expect from their cities and states, and these long overdue requirements will help us take down MS-13 and other violent transnational gangs, and make our country safer."

Read the full backgrounder for the new Byrne JAG Grant Policy here.

sanctuary cities
Jeff Sessions
Interior Enforcement

Updated: Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 9:20am EDT