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Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo clarifying the type of grants jurisdictions could lose if they fail to comply with the president’s Jan. 25 executive order and federal anti-sanctuary law. Only jurisdictions that "willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373" will be considered sanctuary jurisdictions. The at-risk grants are those administered by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

8 U.S.C. 1373 bans state and local governments from enacting policies that restrict or prohibit communications with the Department of Homeland Security “regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

The memo states: “the Department of Justice will require jurisdictions applying for certain Department grants to certify their compliance with federal law, including 8 U.S.C. § 1373, as a condition for receiving an award. Any jurisdiction that fails to certify compliance with section 1373 will be ineligible to receive such awards.

“After consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, I have determined that, for purposes of enforcing the Executive Order, the term "sanctuary jurisdiction" will refer only to jurisdictions that "willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373." A jurisdiction that does not willfully refuse to comply with section 1373 is not a "sanctuary jurisdiction" as that term is used in section 9(a). While the Executive Order's definition of "sanctuary jurisdiction" is narrow, nothing in the Executive Order limits the Department's ability to point out ways that state and local jurisdictions are undermining our lawful system of immigration or to take enforcement action where state or local practices violate federal laws, regulations, or grant conditions.

“In accordance with my duties as Attorney General, I have determined that section 9(a) of the Executive Order, which is directed to the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, will be applied solely to federal grants administered by the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security, and not to other sources of federal funding."

For Justice Department purposes, “(t)his certification requirement will apply to any existing grant administered by the Office of Justice Programs and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services that expressly contains this certification condition and to future grants for which the Department is statutorily authorized to impose such a condition.”

Read more in The Washington Times or read AG Sessions’ memo.

Jeff Sessions
sanctuary cities

Updated: Mon, Jun 5th 2017 @ 6:25pm EDT