"We are going to become this administration's worst nightmare." Leading officials from Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York have come out swinging a day after AG Sessions demanded yesterday that the country's so-called 'Sanctuary Cities' stop breaking Federal laws (or their funding will be cut, or worse).
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the 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' demands were not well met by the major cities' leaders...
"We are going to become this administration's worst nightmare," said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who was among officials gathered in New York for a small conference that attracted officials from cities including San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York.
Mark-Viverito and others promised to block federal immigration agents from accessing certain private areas on city property, to restrict their access to schools and school records and to offer legal services to immigrants in the country illegally.
California Senate leader Kevin de León called Sessions' message, "nothing short of blackmail. ... Their gun-to-the-head method to force resistant cities and counties to participate in Trump's inhumane and counterproductive mass-deportation is unconstitutional and will fail."
Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday he will fight efforts by the Trump administration to take away federal funding needed for law enforcement in Los Angeles.
Garcetti said that such actions would be unconstitutional, adding that the city’s policies are “designed to keep our residents safe.”
“Slashing funds for first-responders, for our port and airport, for counterterrorism, crime-fighting and community-building serves no one — not this city, not the federal government, not the American people,” he said. “We will fight to protect the safety and dignity of all Angelenos, and we will work closely with our representatives in Congress to make sure that Los Angeles does not go without federal resources that help protect millions of people every day.”
And Chicago was welcoming... to immigrants...
Mayor Rahm Emanuel doubled down on his own promise that Chicago will “continue to welcome” immigrants.
"I've always seen Chicago as a welcoming city,” Emanuel said in an interview from the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York on Monday.
“It welcomed my grandfather 100 years ago, we continue to welcome entrepreneurs, immigrants, and I would just say think of it this way: Half the new businesses in Chicago and the state of Illinois come from immigrants, nearly half,” he added. “Half the patents at the University of Illinois come from immigrants, and so we want to continue to welcome people, welcome their ideas, welcome their families to the city of Chicago, who want to build the American dream for their children and their grandchildren.”
As a reminder, in Sessions' view, these cities "make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on our streets."
We are sure the tax-paying people of these great cities will be happy to support more taxation to pay for that loss of safety.
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:
- $26.741 billion in annual federal grants and direct payments flowed into America’s 106 sanctuary cities (FY2016).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- $15.983 billion in federal funds flowed into just twelve major American cities where 1 in 5 illegal entrants reside (FY2016).
- 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.
- $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.
- $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.
- 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.
- 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.