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Attorney General Cracking Down on Funding for Sanctuary Cities

07-26-2017
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WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that sanctuary cities must give federal immigration authorities access to jails and give them 48 hours notice when someone facing deportation will be released from custody in order to receive certain law enforcement grants.

"So-called sanctuary policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes," Sessions said in a statement. 

"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," he continued. "We must encourage these 'sanctuary' jurisdictions to change their policies and partner with federal law enforcement to remove criminals."

The new policy will apply to all cities that get grants from the Byrne Justice Assistance grant program, for which the administration has requested just over $380 million for the coming year.

Police use the money for everything from bulletproof vests to body cameras.

In some states, courts have held that state and local authorities cannot detain people who are not charged with a crime simply because of a federal detainer request. 

For months, Sessions had been warning jurisdictions they could lose money just for having rules that limit communication among local police and immigration officials.

"This is what the American people should be able to expect from their cities and states," Sessions said. "And these long overdue requirements will help us take down MS-13 and other violent transnational gangs, and make our country safer."

The new requirements will apply to cities seeking grants starting in September.

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