AG Sessions says country ‘less safe’ due to sanctuary cities
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an ultimatum for jurisdictions with “sanctuary” status.
“When cities and states refuse to enforce immigration laws, our nation is less safe,” Sessions said Monday morning.
Jeff Sessions warns that “sanctuary” cities they will not receive grants from the Justice Department if they do not follow federal law.
President Donald Trump has previously threatened to “defund” sanctuary governments by taking away grants. Cities and other municipalities are considered “sanctuary” if they shelter immigrants who are in the country illegally by refusing to help the federal government enforce immigration laws.
Sessions said that jurisdictions must demonstrate they are not sanctuary cities in order to receive Justice Department grants.
Seattle is one of a number of larger sanctuary cities. The city risks losing millions in federal funding.
Of course, the largest sources of federal funds are exempt from Trump’s edict. The Associated Press reports payments to individuals, such as health benefits from Medicare or Social Security, are off the table.
The order from Trump said that sanctuary cities “are not eligible to receive federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes.”
Washington Governor Jay Inslee previously expressed concern over the Trump administration’s plans for immigrants, after attending a meeting with the president and National Governors Association.
“I can tell you that this weekend I did not receive any reassurance that the administration would show a more judicious and thoughtful approach to issues of the executive order or immigration,” he said. “In fact, some things made me more disturbed that would suggest this was not a thoughtful approach and not justified by national security.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.