Attorney General Jeff Sessions Echoes A Trump Threat To Strip Sanctuary Cities Of Justice Department Grants

On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions echoed President Trump by threatening to remove Justice Department grants from sanctuary cities who refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants. He even went as far as to suggest a “claw back” of existing funding, which suggests that the feds could demand to be reimbursed for funding that’s already been disbursed.

Sanctuary cities are defined by an agreement between local law enforcement and undocumented immigrants to provide a safe haven from being deported. The cities have been a headache for Donald Trump, who previously vowed to strip funding for communities who won’t cooperate with his immigration policies. Several cities have pushed back at the White House’s threats, but Trump may no longer be bluffing. The Attorney General said he is strongly urging these cities to reconsider their sanctuary status:

“We intend to use all the lawful authorities we have to make sure our state and local officials … are in sync with the federal government. Moreover, the Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for Department of Justice grants to certify compliance with [relevant laws] as a condition of receiving those awards.”

The Justice Department has handed out more than $4.1 billion in grants to sanctuary jurisdictions in 2017 so the effect of dropping these grants isn’t negligible. Sessions also claimed that this would only be the enforcement of a similar policy by the Obama administration that was never put into effect.

The AG’s appearance at the press briefing launched what’s sure to be another interesting week filled with White House shakeups, including a Tuesday executive order whereby Trump will roll back Obama’s climate change plan.

(Via CNN, LA Times, Washington Times & The Washington Post)