Cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and others have long declined to enforce federal immigration laws aggressively, setting up a conflict with the hardline stance of the new administration, led by President Donald Trump and Sessions.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced a plan to require cities applying for Department of Justice grants to certify their compliance with federal law, including Section 1373 of the U.S. Code.
The Department of Justice, he continued, will require that cities and states seeking DOJ grants must provide proof of compliance with Section 1373 of USA code Title 8 on notifying federal officials about a person's immigration status.
Trump had said during the campaign that he would "defund" sanctuary cities by taking away their federal funding.
"I urge our nation's states and cities to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and to re-think these policies". "Public safety as well as national security are at stake.the American people want and deserve a lawful city of immigration that keeps us safe and one that serves the national interest".
"After years of the previous administration turning a blind eye to this issue, the federal government is sending a clear and necessary message that the laws of this land are going to be enforced", he said in a statement.
There are no sanctuary cities in Alabama. "Such policies make their cities and states less safe, and put them at risk of losing valuable federal dollars".
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Travis County receives just over $50 million from both federal and state grants, according to estimates from Eckhardt's office. In 2016, the city received $122,000 through the department's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, $495,000 for community policing and $16,000 for transitional housing for victims of domestic violence.
The city refuses to hold undocumented immigrants for an extended period of time while ICE secures a warrant and police officers do not ask residents about their immigration status, two policies that lead critics to refer to Providence as a sanctuary city.
The federal government has stepped up its oversight of municipalities' compliance with the guidance.
Session referred to a section of USA code that mandates that all jurisdictions must communicate and comply with federal agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
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We have simply got to end this policy.