Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans to rollback federal funding for towns and states across the US which refuse to enforce federal immigration laws.
In remarks delivered Monday, Sessions encouraged local and state jurisdictions to comply with immigration laws, and indicated communities which defy federal detention and deportation procedures would likely lose grants totaling upwards of $4.1 billion.
“The charges and convictions against these aliens include drug trafficking, hit and run, rape, sex offenses against a child and even murder,” Sessions stated.
“Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on our streets.”
Sessions went on to describe two instances in which sanctuary policies led to the murders of innocent US citizens.
We all remember the tragic case of Kate Steinle, the 32-year-old woman who was shot and killed two years ago in San Francisco as she walked along a pier with her father. The shooter, Francisco Sanchez, was an illegal immigrant who had already been deported five times and had seven felony convictions.
Just eleven weeks before the shooting, San Francisco had released Sanchez from its custody, even though ICE had filed a detainer requesting that he be kept in custody until immigration authorities could pick him up for removal. Even worse, Sanchez admitted that the only reason he came to San Francisco was because of its sanctuary policies.
A similar story unfolded just last week, when Ever Valles, an illegal immigrant and Mexican national, was charged with murder and robbery of a man at a light rail station. Valles was released from a Denver jail in late December, despite the fact that ICE had lodged a detainer for his removal.
In accordance with President Trump’s commitment to law and order, Sessions announced that jurisdictions which “willfully refuse to comply” with immigration laws would not be eligible for federal funds, “except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.”
“This policy is entirely consistent with the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) guidance issued last July under the previous administration,” the attorney general stated.
Additionally, communities which “willfully” violated 8 U.S.C. Section 1373 and have already received funding may have to pay it back.
“The American people want and deserve a lawful immigration system that keeps us safe and serves our national interest. This expectation is reasonable, and our government has a duty to meet it. And we will meet it.”