Attorney General Jeff Sessions just laid out penalties the Trump Administration will dole out to cities, counties, and states that hide criminals who are in the country illegally.
Sessions told reporters at a White House briefing that, for openers, the Department of Justice will start withholding grants from so-called sanctuaries and may even start “clawing back” some of the money the federal government has given.
He said it was a matter of safety and national security.
Sessions told leaders of sanctuary cities to “consider the harm you’re doing” and used the case of Kate Steinle as an example.
Steinle was murdered in 2015 by a seven time felon who had been deported five times, but who came to San Francisco because of its protection of criminal aliens and its refusal to turn them over to immigration for deportation.
Sessions told reporters that in just one week the Department of Homeland Security discovered about 200 times when ‘sanctuaries’ refused to detain for federal immigration agents people who had been convicted of crimes or wanted in connection with one. Sessions said the people were wanted for rape, murder, and other felonies.
The Washington Times reported that the Department of Justice gives $4.1 billion each year in grants to cities, counties, and states. Sessions said he’ll withhold that money from sanctuary cities:
He said he’s carrying out a policy laid out by the Obama administration last year, which identified three grant programs — the COPS grants, Byrne grants and State Criminal Alien Assistance Program money — that already require sanctuary certification.
The Obama Administration issued an order last July to crack down on sanctuaries but never enforced it, according to Sessions.
The Washington Times reports that there are about 100 entities that call themselves sanctuaries for illegal and criminal aliens.