Following through on a pledge to undermine so-called sanctuary jurisdictions, the Trump administration has asked California to prove it’s cooperating with immigration enforcement—or risk losing some federal grants.
Following through on a pledge to undermine so-called sanctuary cities, the Trump administration today demanded that nine jurisdictions provide proof that they’re cooperating with immigration enforcement—or risk losing some federal grants.
The California Board of State and Community Corrections received one of the U.S. Justice Department’s letters. Others went to officials in Cook County, Ill., Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia.
President Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut all federal funding for sanctuary cities, but the Los Angeles Times reports it’s doubtful that Congress would go along with such an aggressive punishment. So far, the administration has only proposed cutting off cities’ Justice Department grants, meaning the $20 million the California Board of State and Community Corrections received last year and shared with counties and the state prison agency could be withheld.
California officials are railing against the letters.
“It has become abundantly clear” that U.S. Attorney General Jeff sessions and the Trump administration “are basing their law enforcement policies on principles of white supremacy – not American values,” Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon said in a statement. De Leon is the author of Senate Bill 54, which would declare California a sanctuary state.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a statement accusing the administration of threatening public safety, and he vowed to defend the state’s policies. “Federal threats to take away resources from law enforcement or our people in an attempt to bully states and localities into carrying out the new administration’s unsound deportation plan are reckless and jeopardize public safety,” he said.
Both Becerra and Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Session are appearing Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week” to talk about immigration policy.
The U.S. Justice Department has asked the jurisdictions to respond to the letters in writing and document their cooperation with immigration officials by June 30.