Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the Justice Department in a Monday memo to require that U.S. jurisdictions comply with immigration enforcement as a condition for receiving federal grant money.
The move came as a way to implement Executive Order 13768, signed by President Donald Trump in January, which pushed the executive branch to ensure jurisdictions didn’t hinder immigration enforcement. Both Trump and Sessions specifically cited a federal law prohibiting state and local jurisdictions from blocking communication with federal immigration officers about an individual’s citizenship or immigration status.
Sessions said he only considered jurisdictions to be “sanctuary jurisdictions” if they willfully ignored that law. The memo only pertained to Justice Department grant-making components.
Just last month, Justice cited the same law when it threatened nine specific sanctuary jurisdictions (Chicago, New Orleans, Cook County, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Miami, New York City, and Sacramento) with funding cuts, although the jurisdictions denied violating the law.
The Justice Department, according to the Washington Examiner, gave those jurisdictions an ultimatum, demanding that they prove compliance with federal law by June 30, 2017.