A vast majority of the cities and townships that applied for federal law enforcement grants have received them, despite attempts from the Trump administration to withhold funding from sanctuary cities.
President Donald Trump issued an executive order in January 2017 to block federal funding from jurisdictions that harbor illegal immigrants and refuse to work with federal immigration authorities. The Department of Justice took the fight a step further in November 2017 when it targeted 29 specific cities, metro areas, counties and states, accusing them of violating federal law with their “sanctuary policies.”.
Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a letter to these 29 jurisdictions, warning that they must follow federal law or else risk having federal funds cut off from them.
Despite these warnings, all but one of the jurisdictions have either received or are now eligible to receive funds in the 16 months that have passed since the letters were first issued. The Justice Department revealed this development to the Associated Press. These 29 localities include cities ranging from Burlington, Vermont to Los, Angeles, California. The state of Oregon has been the sole exception, given that it has yet to be cleared to receive federal grants from 2017.
The Trump Administration’s failure to cut off federal law enforcement funding to sanctuary cities is due to several losses it has faced in the courtroom.
Two California counties were successful in filing a lawsuit in a district court against the Trump Administration’s threats to deny federal funds to sanctuary cities. The 9th Circuit Court of appeals ended up upholding the court’s opinion in August 2018.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors joined the fray when it filed a lawsuit against the measure in 2018, and a federal court in September 2018 temporarily blocked the Department of Justice from withholding funds from cities that were represented by the Conference of Mayors.
The Justice Department is still considering whether it will appeal some of the court decisions.
In January 2018, Sessions called out sanctuary cities for their obstruction:
“I continue to urge all jurisdictions under review to reconsider policies that place the safety of their communities and their residents at risk.”
“Protecting criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities defies common sense and undermines the rule of law.”
The dangers of sanctuary cities were recently on display in February when a California sheriff’s deputy was shot by an illegal immigrant wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement while conducting a traffic stop. This immigrant was able to stay in the U.S. because local authorities refused to cooperate with federal authorities.
Footage of this incident went viral and has served as a wake-up call for immigration reform advocates nationwide.
Sanctuary cities and similar arrangements that allow illegal immigrants and other immigrants who refuse to assimilate to congregate en masse will inevitably lead to the creation of No Go Zones as seen in Europe, and become crime hubs.
The effects are real and will affect every day Americans.
Sadly, the political class has dragged its feet on the issue and works to roadblock President Trump’s sensible immigration reforms.
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