Jeff Sessions, U.S. Attorney General, said that the “lawless” governors and mayors across the country are creating a dangerous environment for our people. They must stop helping to hide illegal immigrants who commit felonies.
Monday, Sessions said in a White House press briefing that “sanctuary cities” give criminals the opportunity to “roam free.”
He says it’s unfortunate that some cities, counties and states have adopted these “sanctuary” policies, which were designed to deter ICE’s enforcement of immigration laws. Sessions warns that policies like these cannot continue, claiming they make America less safe by putting “dangerous criminals back on the streets.”
Sessions also notes that by refusing to detain illegal immigrants based on federal detainer requests, these sanctuary cities, counties and states are breaking federal laws. This leads to unsafe streets for the residents of those areas, and the United States as a whole.
“I strongly urge our nation’s states and cities and counties to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws and to rethink these policies,” Sessions said. “Such policies make their cities and states less safe — public safety as well as national security are at stake — and put them at risk of losing federal dollars.”
Sessions said sanctuary cities risk losing billions of dollars in federal aid if they continue to defy national immigration laws. This year, the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs will award some $4.1 billion in federal grants.
Both Attorney General Sessions and President Trump have threatened to defund sanctuary cities that continue to harbor criminal illegal aliens.
“The Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for Department of Justice grants to certify compliance with [relevant laws] as a condition of receiving those awards,” Sessions said.
Shockingly, there are more than 200 sanctuary cities in the United States that ignore federal law by refusing to prosecute illegal aliens or report them to immigration services. In a radical move, California is now pushing to make itself the first “sanctuary state.”
A Department of Homeland Security report last week showed that more than 200 criminal suspects were released in sanctuary cities despite federal detainers.
Sessions discussed the tragic and preventable death of Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old woman who was gunned down by an illegal alien in sanctuary city San Francisco.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez — an illegal immigrant from Mexico who had previously been deported from the United States five times — told officials he specifically returned to San Francisco because it was a sanctuary city.
“We have simply got to end this policy,” Attorney General Sessions.