The Trump administration on Friday sent nine so-called sanctuary jurisdictions letters demanding they help enforce federal immigration law or risk losing federal grants.
“Failure to comply with this condition could result in the withholding of grant funds, suspension or termination of the grant, ineligibility for future [Office of Justice] grants or subgrants, or other action, as appropriate,” acting Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Harten wrote in letters to local officials.
Harten’s letter said the jurisdictions must submit documentation showing that they are in compliance with federal law. Sanctuary cities refuse to assist federal agencies with immigration enforcement.
The jurisdictions included New York City, Chicago and the surrounding Cook County, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Miami-Dade County in Florida and the state of California, which were all identified in a May 2016 Justice Department inspector general report as in violation.
The report said the jurisdictions have local rules or regulations that interfere with local law enforcement's ability to share information with federal authorities about the immigration status of people in custody.
The Justice Department release sent out along with the letter described the sanctuary jurisdictions targeted as "crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime."
Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE last month promised a crackdown on sanctuary cities, saying that Justice Department grants won't be provided to them.