Justice Dept. Threatens to Cut Funding for 9 Major 'Sanctuary' Jurisdictions

A woman shouts slogans and holds a placard during a rally in downtown against President Donald Trump's ICE and deportation programs in San Francisco

The Trump administration on Friday sent nine so-called sanctuary jurisdictions letters demanding they help enforce federal immigration law or risk losing federal grants.

The letters went to so-called "sanctuary cities" the DOJ's inspector general has previously said have rules that limit information available to USA immigration officials.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that threatening to crack down on sanctuary cities by stripping "federal grant money from the sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants".

The Justice Department statement blasted NY for gang murders there, labeling them "the predictable outcome of the city's "soft on crime" stance".

"Failure to comply with this condition could result in the withholding of grant funds, suspension or termination of the grant, ineligibility for future O.J.P. grants or subgrants, or other action, as appropriate", wrote Alan R. Hanson, acting head of the Office of Justice Programs, which administers the grant program.

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"A federal, state or local government entity or official may not prohibit or in any way restrict any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual", the letter said.

"This grandstanding shows how out of touch the Trump administration is with reality". The city was accused of failing to comply with a request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain undocumented immigrants for possible deportation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has adopted a hard line on immigration, dating to his time in the U.S. Senate.

That money go toward law enforcement, prosecution and court programs, according to the Justice Department. To argue otherwise, as the U.S. Justice Department has done, "demonstrates a willful disregard of the facts", O'Neill said. Chicago has been a sanctuary city since the 1980s. "To say we're soft on crime is absolutely ludicrous". "The Department of Justice claims to care about the well-being of American people, but the very same dollars they have threatened to withhold provide funding for our systems of security", Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said in a statement. The federal agency then has 48 hours to take the detainees into custody.

"Milwaukee County has its challenges but they are not caused by illegal immigration". Sessions links immigration to a variety of social problems, including what he calls a rise in crime. "My far greater concern is the proactive dissemination of misinformation, fear, and intolerance".

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