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Thomas Gallatin / Mar. 28, 2017

Sanctuary City Crackdown Begins

AG Sessions promises to withhold DOJ funding from offending jurisdictions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Department of Justice would begin fighting against lawless “sanctuary cities” — jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration law. Sessions called “sanctuary” policies “dangerous” and promised the DOJ would act against offending local governments by both withholding upwards of $4.1 billion in grants as well as “claw back” federal funds. Sessions warned, “The Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for DOJ grants to certify compliance with [U.S. Code 1373] as a condition of receiving those awards.”

Sessions highlighted the glaring contradiction espoused by those who, under the guise of protecting immigrants, support these lawless sanctuary policies: “Failure to deport aliens who are convicted of criminal offenses puts whole communities at risk, especially immigrant communities in the very sanctuary jurisdictions that seek to protect the perpetrators.” While all Americans suffer from the effects of unchecked illegal immigration, those communities most vulnerable to criminal aliens are legal immigrants. Sessions surmised that “countless Americans would be alive today … and countless loved ones would not be grieving today … if these polices of sanctuary cities were ended.”

Another important point Sessions made was the fact that his order is based upon the policies put in place by the Obama administration last year — policies it subsequently failed to follow through on. Sessions is simply doing his job as attorney general in applying the Rule of Law.

Predictably, leftist leaders from these sanctuary cities and immigrant groups voiced their consternation and intent to rebel. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “We won’t back down from protecting New Yorkers from terror … or from an overzealous administration fixated on xenophobia and needless division.”

Irrespective of the deluded sentiments expressed by these leftist leaders, the reality is that sanctuary cities provide no sanctuary from crime. Among numerous examples, the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle by a five-time deported criminal alien in San Francisco and the recent rape of a 14-year-old high schooler by illegal aliens in Maryland attest to that. Thankfully, for legal immigrants as well as native-born citizens, America now has an attorney general who believes in the Rule of Law and intends to apply it.

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