U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that state and local governments seeking Justice Department grants must verify that they are not sanctuary cities in order to receive funds.
“Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets,” Sessions said during a White House press briefing.
“Today, I am urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws.”
The new policy is the latest initiative undertaken by the Trump administration in its effort to crack down on sanctuary cities which refuse to assist federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.
According to Sessions, compliance with federal immigration laws will be required for states and localities seeking grants from the department’s Office of Justice Programs which finances criminal justice programs nationwide by providing billions of dollars in grants and other funding.
The Office for Victims of Crime recently awarded a grant of almost $8.5 million to support victims of last year’s shooting massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Sessions also called on Maryland legislators to abandon their current efforts to become a sanctuary state.
“That would be such a mistake,” he said.
“I would plead with the people of Maryland to understand this makes the state of Maryland more at risk for violence and crime, that it’s not good policy.”
During the 2016 campaign, President Trump committed to implementing tough policies to deal with sanctuary cities. Days after his inauguration, he issued an executive order on interior law enforcement that called for a government review of grant monies received by sanctuary cities and states. The order also granted power to the administration to limit grants to sanctuary cities.
H/T: The Hill
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