President Trump and the Justice Department (DOJ) kept up the pressure on the so-called “sanctuary cities” in the U.S. by doing a run around several federal district judges who placed injunctions on earlier efforts to punish those cities.
Ironically, it may be an action taken by former President Obama that was approved by the courts in 2013 that paves the way to deport tens of thousands of illegal aliens currently incarcerated on U.S. soil.
In this the latest move, the Trump administration is pressuring local jurisdictions to drop their sanctuary policies that protect illegal immigrants who have been arrested for any crime from being reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The Justice Department sent letters to 23 states, cities and counties this past Wednesday demanding their local police prove they are not violating a federal law that requires they share immigration information about those they have in custody.
Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security Secretary told a Senate committee:
The Department of Justice is reviewing what avenues might be available,” Nielsen said. “The context of this is of course not only putting my [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers at risk but also finding an efficient and effective way to enforce our immigration laws.
Sarah Isgur Flores, director of public affairs for the DOJ appeared the next day on Fox and Friends to announce her department had identified 23 jurisdictions that appear to not be in compliance with federal immigration law.
“We are sending them a document request. And if they don’t answer that, we’re sending them a subpoena,” said Flores, “… These are the jurisdictions that have politicians that release criminal aliens back onto the street.”
The DOJ’s chief leverage against these cities is to remove Byrne grants — the main source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions.
“Every crime committed by someone who shouldn’t be in this country is a crime that’s 100-percent preventable, and so we are highly prioritizing these sanctuary jurisdictions, urging them to cooperate with federal law enforcement, so that we can lower the crime rates in some of these places,” said Flores.
Beyond that, cities that refuse to cooperate may lose access to future federal grant money, and even grants dating back to 2016 can be revoked. Earlier this month Thomas Homan, acting director of ICE, warned the state of California that it was encouraging the “wrath of his agency” because of its legislators making it a sanctuary state. Homan didn’t save his warning only for the state but for local officials as well.
At this point, the states of California, Illinois, and California along with the cities of Chicago, New York City, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and several more have been put on notice.
The DOJ has made it plain that it isn’t just focusing on the biggest state and city offenders.
Jackson, MS has been given until February 23 to comply or face the loss of federal funds. Chokwe Antar Lumumba won the state capitol’s mayoral race with a platform that promised to make Jackson a model socialist city and its citizens may regret that he has kept his promise.
Last week the DOJ demanded the city turn over all documents that involve Jackson’s immigration policy. A letter from the DOJ warned of the consequences of failure to comply saying, “…Should you fail to respond in a complete and timely manner, the Department will subpoena these documents.”
If Jackson fails to comply, the price the city could pay is high. The city of Jackson receives significantly more (by percentage) that larger cities like New York or Los Angeles.
Mississippi State Representative Mark Baker said this past November he was considering bringing up a state sanctuary bill that would block Jackson’s ability to get state grants.
In the President’s favor, the same judges who ruled in favor or the sanctuary cities and states also ruled the administration can enforce the part federal law (Section 1373) that requires those entities to share whatever information they have on convicted criminals when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests it.
In 2016, Obama’s DOJ flagged 10 communities in 2016 because they were suspected of violating Section 1373.
While the statute does not require jurisdictions to detain illegal immigrants beyond their usual release times, nor require local police of sheriff’s to assist in the investigation of the arrest of illegal immigrants, it does set a standard for communication.
~ American Liberty Report