RT – US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has offered a more narrow definition of “sanctuary jurisdiction,” in order to circumvent the court rulings declaring one of President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration unconstitutional.
In a memo released Monday, Sessions offered a more tapered definition of what constitutes a “sanctuary jurisdiction,” saying that the term will only refer to “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary states” which ”willfully refuse to comply” with specific federal immigration laws.
“Federal law provides a process for foreign citizens to lawfully enter the country. Circumventing that process and crossing our borders unlawfully is a federal crime,” Sessions wrote. “It is the role of federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, to enforce our immigration laws, prosecute violations, and secure our borders.”
In January, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, which stated that “sanctuary jurisdictions” were “not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.”
In his memo, Sessions cites 8 US Code 1373, which states that local governments cannot restrict government employees from communicating with federal officers about individuals who may not be in the country illegally.
The memo comes after US District Court Judge William Orrick issued an injunction against key parts of an executive order on immigration in April, barring the government from cutting off grants to local governments that refused to use their own funds to comply with federal detainer requests.
“Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves,” Orrick wrote in his decision.
The court ruled that the provisions in the order were unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment.