Justice Dept. Threatens to Cut Funding for 9 Major 'Sanctuary' Jurisdictions

The leader of California's state Senate rejects a Justice Department letter that says to comply with federal immigration enforcement or risk losing grant money.

"Failure to comply with this condition could result in the withholding of grant funds, suspension or termination of the grant, ineligibility for future [Justice Department] grants or subgrants, or other actions, as appropriate", Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson said in letters to the cities.

The jurisdictions also include Clark County, Nevada; Cook County, Illinois; Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

"Milwaukee County has its challenges but they are not caused by illegal immigration", he said in a statement.

The Trump administration is moving beyond rhetoric in its effort to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Sessions said earlier this week that sanctuary cities undermine efforts to fight violent gangs.

The Justice Department statement blasted NY for gang murders there, labeling them "the predictable effect of the city's "soft on crime" stance".

The grant was even named after New York Police Department officer Edward R. Byrne, who was killed in 1988 while on the job, and is meant to "honor his sacrifice", according to the grant's website.

"New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable effect of the city's "soft on crime" stance", the DOJ said in a news release.

"In fact, 2016 saw the fewest shootings ever in New York City history since record-keeping began", O'Neill said. To argue otherwise, as the U.S. Justice Department has done, "demonstrates a willful disregard of the facts", O'Neill said.

"California has a right to determine how it will provide for the safety and general welfare of its residents and to safeguard their constitutional rights", he said in a statement.

Becerra added: "Fearmongering and falsehoods will not intimidate our state into compromising our values".

"When people are afraid to report crimes or engage with law enforcement because of immigration status, the safety of our communities is placed at risk". It's the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. "To say we're soft on crime is absolutely ludicrous".

NY and the other jurisdictions face June 30 deadlines to comply or risk millions in federal money.

At least one of these three things is true about Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, who is and will indefinitely remain the single most powerful law enforcement official in the richest nation on the only planet known to host intelligent lifeforms within our entire universe.

  • Marlene Weaver