In a surprise appearance at the White House Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions further warned sanctuary cities against harboring dangerous criminal illegal aliens and detailed coming consequences for doing so.
"Some states and cities have adopted policies designed to frustrate the enforcement of our immigration laws. This includes refusing to detain known felons under federal detainer requests, or otherwise failing to comply with these laws. For example, the Department of Homeland Security recently issued a report showing that in a single week, there were more than 200 instances of jurisdictions refusing to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests with respect to individuals charged or convicted of a serious crime. The charges and convictions against these aliens include drug trafficking, hit and run, rape, sex offenses against a child and even murder," Sessions said. "Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on our streets."
Sessions went on to stress that local jurisdictions knowingly harboring criminal illegal aliens will face elimination of federal funding.
"Today I am urging all states and local jurisdictions to comply with all federal laws, including 8 U.S.C. Section 1373. Moreover, the Department of Justice will require jurisdictions seeking or applying for Department grants to certify compliance with Section 1373 as a condition for receiving these awards," Sessions said. "This policy is entirely consistent with the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) guidance issued last July under the previous administration. This guidance requires state and local jurisdictions to comply and certify compliance with Section 1373 in order to be eligible for OJP grants. It also made clear that failure to remedy violations could result in withholding of grants, termination of grants, and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants."
"The Department of Justice will also take all lawful steps to claw-back any funds awarded to a jurisdiction that willfully violates Section 1373. In the current fiscal year, department’s OJP and Community Oriented Policing Services anticipate awarding more than $4.1 billion dollars in grants," he continued. "I urge our nation’s states and cities to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and to re-think these policies. Such policies make their cities and states less safe, and put them at risk of losing valuable federal dollars."
President Trump signed an executive order in February prompting a DHS crackdown on sanctuary cities. A number of school districts around the country have filed a lawsuit in an effort to get ahead of funding cuts.
A recent Harvard-Harris poll shows 80 percent of Americans believe local authorities should comply with federal immigration agents by detaining and turning over criminal aliens.