Seeking ‘To Create A Police State,’ AG Sessions Threatens Sanctuary Cities

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Above Photo: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who on Monday said federal grants would be withheld from sanctuary cities. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

But “state and local governments and law enforcement have broad authority under the Constitution to not participate in federal immigration enforcement,” says New York’s attorney general

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday took aim at sanctuary cities, saying such communities must end and that his Department of Justice would deprive them of federal grants—a move that prompted the New York attorney general to vow his continued resolution in resisting the Trump administration’s “draconian policies.”

“Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets,” he said during a White House press briefing.

“We intend to use all the lawful authorities we have to make sure our state and local officials … are in sync with the federal government,” Sessions said.

Existing grants, he added, could be “clawed back” from such cities.

NPR notes:

The announcement is in line with a January executive order that Trump signed shortly after taking office that directed the attorney general and the Homeland Security secretary to withhold such federal funds.

“There is a question about whether the federal government could withhold a wide array of federal funds from cities over their sanctuary status and still survive a legal challenge,” as TIME notes.

Sessions’ statement comes amidst a broad immigration crackdown on the part of the Trump administration.

Last week, for example, the administration released its first Declined Detainer Outcome Report, which lists jurisdictions not complying with a deportation request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That document was swiftly decried as “part of an overall strategy to try to scare jurisdictions into becoming deportation agents.”

According to Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president and executive director Kristen Clarke, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeks to create a police state in which local and state law enforcement are acting at the behest of the federal government to round up immigrants in communities across the country.”

“Cities seeking to comply with the Constitution and protect immigrant communities should be able to do so without heavy-handed threats from the federal government. We will continue to stand up against this administration’ actions that promote unlawful profiling and xenophobia,” she added.

Sessions’ announcement also drew the ire of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who said, “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,” he said.

Negating Sessions’ argument, Schneiderman added, “Public safety depends on trust between law enforcement and those they bravely serve; yet, again and again, President Trump’s draconian policies only serve to undercut that trust.”

“My office will continue to ensure local governments have the tools they need to legally protect their immigrant communities—and we won’t stop fighting to beat back President Trump’s un-American immigration policies,” his statement adds.

  • Techdexter

    If you choose to misuse federal funds ear marked for US citizen services, or impley your intentions are to use them for any other purposes, you should not receive the funds, as these funds have been designated to a program. If these funds are used for any unapproved programs, this misuse could be considerd theft or what in the corporate world would be a form embezzlement.
    Apply for appropations like everyone else if you want money for new service’s dont steal them.

  • mwildfire

    Thing is, those cities and the states they’re in, send more money to the federal government than they get back. If the Trumpists carry through on this threat, they’re asking for secession movements or refusal to send in tax money from those states…I’d kinda like to see California, Oregon and Washington secede and form Ecotopia at last, and New England become its own small country…except I live in West Virginia, which is probably never going to become Vandalia.

  • Jon

    On a moral level, turning in refugees (whether political or economic due to the ravages of the empire) is equivalent to turning in runaway slaves seeking liberty to the slave catchers for return to often brutal treatment as well as slavery. Some laws are too repugnant to obey. Sanctuaries YES!

  • Jon

    Yes, secession needs to be on the agenda, but not by raising an army. Please investigate the national liberation movement happening right now in Hawai’i (to which hardly anyone on the left is paying any attention) but is everyday common knowledge there. “Liberate Hawai’i! Renouncing and Defying the Fraudulant US Claim to the Sovereignty of Hawai’i” explains the legal and historical justification for this move.
    No one calls it “secession,” but “regaining sovereignty. It is for these legal reasons that a formal case is being brought to the International Court of Arbitration at The Hague for fact-finding.

  • Robert Hodge

    Sessions is a LIAR and should have ZERO credibility with any legislation or enforcement he imposes. LIAR LIAR RESIGN, ALONG WITH TRUMP AND CO.

  • Robert Hodge

    GOVERNMENT is NOT a business. Do you need any further explanations?