AG Sessions Makes Surprise Sanctuary City Announcement; Vows To Withhold Funding

Moments ago Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a surprise appearance at Sean Spicer's daily White House press briefing to announce that his DOJ will be taking steps to not only require that so-called "sanctuary cities" enforce federal immigration laws but would also be seeking to claw back past DOJ awards granted to those cities if they refuse to certify compliance.

"Today, I'm urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws.  Moreover, the Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for DOJ grants to certify compliance with 1373 as a condition for receiving those awards."

 

"This policy is entirely consistent with the DOJ's Office of Justice Programs guidance that was issued just last summer under the previous administration."

 

"This guidance requires 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 grants, termination of grants and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants."

 

"The DOJ will also take all lawful steps to claw back any fines awarded to a jurisdiction that willfully violates Section 1373."

Sessions also called on states like Maryland and California to scrap their plans for becoming a sanctuary state.

"That would be such a mistake." 

 

"I would plead with the people of Maryland to understand this makes the state of Maryland more at risk for violence and crime, that it's not good policy."

Sessions' full comments can be viewed below:

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Update:

It didn't take long for New York's Attorney General to release a statement vowing that he will continue to violate federal laws.

  • NY A.G. 'WON'T STOP FIGHTING' TRUMP'S IMMIGRATION POLICIES
  • NY AG: STATE, LOCAL GOVTS HAVE BROAD AUTHORITY TO NOT TAKE PART

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For those who missed it, here is an excerpt from our previous post detailing which sanctuary cities receive the most federal funding.

Our organization, American Transparency (website: OpenTheBooks.com) was able to identify that number. We found nearly $27 billion ($26.74 billion to be exact) in federal funding (FY2016) for America’s 106 Sanctuary Cities. Our new report, “Federal Funding of America’s Sanctuary Cites” details federal grants and other forms of federal spending that flow to those cities.

Using our OpenTheBooks interactive map, search federal funding by city. Just click a pin and scroll down to review the municipal agencies and entities (FY2016).

Across America, there are over 300 governmental jurisdictions claiming "sanctuary status." Of those governments, there are 106 cities, while the rest are states, counties or other units of government.

Under Trump’s order, mayors defending their sanctuary city status are essentially imposing a defiance tax on local residents. On average, this tax amounts to $500 per man, woman and child. Major cities like Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago have the most to lose, and nearly $27 billion is at stake across the country.

Here are the top 10 takeaways from our findings:

  1. $26.741 billion in annual federal grants and direct payments flowed into America’s 106 sanctuary cities (FY2016).
  2. On average, the cost of lost federal funding for a family of four residing in one of the 106 sanctuary cities is $1,810 – or $454 per person. A total population of 46.2 million residents live in the 106 sanctuary cities according to census data.
  3. Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois governments received the highest amount of federal funding per resident and, therefore, have the most to lose by maintaining their sanctuary status.Washington, D.C. municipal government received the highest amount of federal funding on a per capita basis: $3,228 per person; $12,912 per family of four; or $2.09 billion total. The City of Chicago, IL received the second highest amount of federal funding on a per capita basis: $1,942 per person; $7,768 per family of four; or $5.3 billion total.
  4. In cities with populations of 100,000 and above, the communities with the least per capita federal dollars ‘at risk’ are St. Paul, Minnesota ($47 per person, $14.2 million total); Downey, California ($36 per person, $4.2 million total) and Miami, Florida ($67 per person, $29.7 million total).
  5. $15.983 billion in federal funds flowed into just twelve major American cities where 1 in 5 illegal entrants reside (FY2016).
  6. Department of Justice grants to law enforcement – i.e. city police departments – totaled $543.97 million (FY2016). Typically, this funding was only a small percentage of the local law enforcement budgets.
  7. $4.23 billion in federal funding of the 106 sanctuary cities flowed via the ‘direct payment’ type. These payments funded municipal services such as housing, education, community development, and schools.
  8. $21.5 billion in federal funding of the 106 sanctuary cities flowed via the ‘grant’ payment mechanism. These payments funded local police and fire departments, schools, housing, and city services.
  9. In Los Angeles, fully 1 in 5 city residents (22-percent) are illegal entrants. However, the amount of federal funding amounts to only $126 per resident; $504 per family of four; or $502.5 million total.
  10. In Newark, New Jersey, 19-percent of city residents are undocumented entrants. However, the amount of federal funding amounts to $733 per resident; $2,932 per family of four; or $206.7 million.

The threat of losing nearly $27 billion in federal funding seems to be having an effect on some cities. In fact, Miami already reversed their sanctuary city policy.

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