US Justice Department May Take Action on Sanctuary Cities — Sessions

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions gestures at the end of his meeting with the Major Cities Chiefs of Police Association at the Justice Department in Washington, U.S., March 16, 2017. (Credit Image: © Yuri Gripas/Reuters via ZUMA Press)

Note comment by New York attorney general at end of article. However, during the Obama administration, Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona tried to enforce immigration laws and she was told the state had to comply with Obama’s federal mandate to leave most illegals alone and not deport or allow law enforcement to detain them. Now that there is a different administration with its sights set on enforcing the law, suddenly states are told by leftists that they don’t have to comply…hmmm.

Adam Samson, Financial Times

The US attorney-general on Monday urged local and state governments to enforce federal immigration laws, warning that so-called sanctuary cities would be at risk of losing funding if they fail to comply.

Jeff Sessions said that governments that protect immigrants who have run afoul of federal rules have put “communities at risk”.

“When cities and states refuse to help enforce immigration laws, our nation is less safe”, he said at a surprise appearance at the daily White House press conference.

“Countless Americans would be alive today” if the cities had chosen to comply with the federal regulations, he added.

The comments from Mr Sessions align with one of President Donald Trump’s central campaign pledges: to take a much tougher stance on immigration than the previous administration.


New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman was quick to response to Mr Sessions’s remarks, saying:

Despite what Attorney General Sessions implied this afternoon, state and local governments and law enforcement have broad authority under the Constitution to not participate in federal immigration enforcement.

As my office’s legal guidance makes clear, President Trump lacks the constitutional authority to broadly cut off funding to states and cities just because they have lawfully acted to protect immigrant families.