Commentary

AG Jeff Sessions Set to Block Millions in Funding to Sanctuary Cities

Jessica Vaughan
By Jessica Vaughan | July 27, 2017 | 3:42 PM EDT

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday that sanctuary jurisdictions will lose access to certain federal law enforcement grants in 2017 if they prohibit officials from communicating with ICE, if they block ICE from interviewing jail inmates, or if they fail to notify ICE of the pending release of criminal aliens ICE is seeking to deport. These particular grants, known as the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, are the largest source of federal criminal justice funds for state, local, and tribal authorities.

This move is helping fulfill one early promise of the Trump administration: to impose consequences on the most egregious of the more than 300 sanctuary jurisdictions.

It is significant because a large share of the funds awarded in this program go to sanctuary jurisdictions. For example, according to DOJ records, the four largest grants, and seven out of the top 10 recipients of the Byrne/JAG grants are sanctuaries. Under the new rules announced by Sessions, these four top grant-getters (New York City, Cook County, Ill., the City of Los Angeles, and Philadelphia) are likely to be disqualified from these grants in the future if they maintain their current policies toward ICE. These cities received more than $10 million in grants in 2016.

See the table below for a list of sanctuary jurisdictions that received Byrne/JAG grants in 2016. Sanctuary jurisdictions received $32.7 million in 2016.

Ten sanctuaries are already at risk of debarment based on an initiative launched last year by Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that controls DOJ's budget. Last year, the department notified 10 of the worst sanctuaries that their DOJ law enforcement grants could be pulled if they did not come into compliance with the federal law prohibiting sanctuary policies. The jurisdictions are California; Connecticut; Cook County, Ill.; Chicago; Milwaukee County; New York City; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; and Las Vegas.

A few months later, Miami-Dade County reversed its sanctuary policy and began cooperating fully with ICE.

In April 2017, DOJ sent letters to nine of the jurisdictions (all but Connecticut) reminding them that by a deadline of June 30, 2017, they had to send documentation of compliance with the law or lose certain funding (and potentially face clawbacks of previously awarded funding). The documentation of "alleged compliance" is currently under review and the results are expected soon. AG Sessions has said their statements will be reviewed carefully: "It is not enough to assert compliance, the jurisdictions must actually be in compliance."

Tuesday's announcement makes clear that DOJ is not looking merely at bare minimal compliance with the letter of Section 1373, the federal law that prohibits policies that block communication between local officials and federal immigration agencies, which many sanctuaries dubiously claim to meet. It also signals that if a jurisdiction feels constrained by the legal controversies surrounding detainers (see discussion here), they can still demonstrate satisfactory cooperation by giving ICE 48 hours advance notice of criminal alien releases.

The following jurisdictions have extreme sanctuary policies that, if maintained, are likely to lead to disqualification from Byrne/JAG grants under the new rules: New York City; Chicago; Cook County, Ill.; Philadelphia; San Francisco County, Calif.; Orleans County, La.; Newark, N.J.; Travis County, Texas; Taos County, N.M.; Lycoming County, Pa.; and Butler County, Pa. Some jurisdictions have milder versions of sanctuary policies that may not lead to disqualification from grants under the DOJ rules announced Tuesday. For example, the following jurisdictions do not honor detainers but already provide ICE with adequate notification of criminal alien releases: Chesterfield County, Va.; Erie County, Pa.; Bedford County, Pa.; Montgomery County, Pa.; and Lebanon County, Pa. Under the new rules, these counties and others may still maintain eligibility for grants if they continue to cooperate fully with ICE.

A new map shows the jurisdictions that are most likely to fail to meet the new requirements, those that likely can meet requirements with their current policies, and a large number that could go either way.

The Byrne/JAG grants are one of three programs now off-limits to sanctuaries. Last year, Rep. Culberson imposed requirements for basic compliance on the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which offers partial reimbursement for the costs of incarcerating illegal aliens, and the Community Oriented Policing grant program.

How much money is at stake in the Byrne/JAG program? The Trump administration reportedly is seeking $380 million for the program in 2018. The table below shows a list of sanctuary jurisdictions that received these grants in 2016 and the amount of the grant.

Sanctuary Jurisdictions Receiving Byrne/JAG Grants in 2016

Awardee

Award Amount

Location

   

New York City Major's Office of Criminal Justice

$4,298,245

N.Y.

   

City of Chicago

$2,333,428

Ill.

   

City of Los Angeles

$1,870,503

Calif.

   

City of Philadelphia

$1,677,937

Pa.

   

Clark County

$975,604

Nev.

   

Milwaukee County

$937,932

Wisc.

   

County of Alameda, CA

$876,345

Calif.

   

City of Baltimore

$743,842

Md.

   

City of Seattle

$673,166

Wash.

   

County of San Bernandino

$626,025

Calif.

   

Hennepin County

$564,510

Minn.

   

City of San Diego

$546,793

Calif.

   

City of Newark Police Department

$525,446

N.J.

   

City and County of San Francisco

$522,943

Calif.

   

City of Albuquerque

$479,125

N.M.

   

City of Portland

$465,810

Ore.

   

City of Boston

$447,390

Mass.

   

City of Riverside

$429,942

Calif.

   

City and County of Denver

$426,590

Colo.

   

City of Stockton

$383,843

Calif.

   

City of Orange

$377,708

Calif.

   

Baltimore, County of

$336,110

Md.

   

County of Sedwick

$331,032

Kan.

   

Prince Georges County

$312,667

Md.

   

Dekalb County

$306,768

Ga.

   

City of Tacoma

$287,469

Wash.

   

City of Fresno

$269,208

Calif.

   

City of New Orleans

$265,832

La.

   

City of Saint Paul

$260,540

Minn.

   

City of Sacramento

$256,776

Calif.

   

City of Colorado Springs

$255,100

Colo.

   

Sacramento County

$241,650

Calif.

   

City of Providence

$225,539

R.I.

   

City of New Haven

$217,907

Conn.

   

City of Hartford

$196,347

Conn.

   

City of Long Beach

$196,217

Calif.

   

City of Bridgeport

$195,781

Conn.

   

Contra Costa County

$194,562

Calif.

   

City of Aurora

$175,123

Colo.

   

County of Kern

$168,552

Calif.

   

County of Union

$167,034

N.J.

   

County of Stanislaus

$165,937

Calif.

   

Spokane County

$154,903

Wash.

   

County of Delaware

$154,093

Pa.

   

Montgomery County

$147,560

Md.

   

City of Bakersfield

$145,769

Calif.

   

City of North Las Vegas PD

$143,777

Nev.

   

City of Vallejo

$136,511

Calif.

   

City of Reno

$130,850

Nev.

   

City of Syracuse

$117,888

N.Y.

   

City of Oxnard

$112,635

Calif.

   

Santa Barbara County

$108,100

Calif.

   

Clayton County

$107,853

Ga.

   

City of Salinas

$98,308

Calif.

   

City of Pueblo

$95,787

Colo.

   

City of Compton

$95,747

Calif.

   

Clark County

$91,717

Wash.

   

City of New Brunswick

$90,341

N.J.

   

City of Lakewood

$87,988

Colo.

   

City of Topeka

$85,769

Kan.

   

Lane County

$84,217

Ore.

   

County of Jackson

$76,389

Calif.

   

City of Council Bluffs

$73,440

Iowa

   

City of Salem

$69,968

Ore.

   

City of Pomona Police Dept

$69,550

Calif.

   

City of Lancaster

$68,883

Calif.

   

City of Greeley

$65,164

Colo.

   

City of Palmdale

$64,321

Calif.

   

City of Gainesville

$63,771

Fla.

   

City of Yakima

$63,434

Wash.

   

City of Allentown

$62,429

Pa.

   

Inglewood City

$61,413

Calif.

   

City of Santa Cruz

$59,519

Calif.

   

Chesterfield County

$55,163

Va.

   

City of Pawtucket

$54,601

R.I.

   

City of Oceanside

$53,730

Calif.

   

City of Merced

$51,649

Calif.

   

City of Fort Collins

$51,561

Colo.

   

City of Redding

$50,688

Calif.

   

Linn County

$50,045

Iowa

   

City of Hawthorne

$50,021

Calif.

   

City of Waterbury

$49,914

Conn.

   

City of Boulder

$49,602

Colo.

   

City of Santa Rosa

$48,367

Calif.

   

Sonoma County

$48,287

Calif.

   

City of Woonsocket

$47,961

R.I.

   

Chula Vista City

$47,700

Calif.

   

Adams County

$46,754

Colo.

   

City of Escondido

$46,313

Calif.

   

Municipality of Norristown

$46,294

Pa.

   

County of Tulare

$46,020

Calif.

   

City of Everett

$45,593

Wash.

   

Arlington County

$44,203

Va.

   

City of Erie

$43,588

Pa.

   

City of Stamford

$43,468

Conn.

   

City of Elk Grove

$42,765

Calif.

   

City of Gallup

$42,240

N.M.

   

Shasta County

$42,045

Calif.

   

City of South Gate

$41,484

Calif.

   

County of Merced

$41,458

Calif.

   

City of Visalia

$40,764

Calif.

   

County of Washington

$39,976

Ore.

   

City of Bellingham

$39,398

Wash.

   

City of New Britain

$39,287

Conn.

   

Town of Hamden

$38,895

Conn.

   

Kitsap County

$38,053

Wash.

   

Incorporated Village of Hempstead

$37,982

N.Y.

   

City of Hanford

$37,643

Calif.

   

Yolo County

$37,455

Calif.

   

City of New London

$36,107

Conn.

   

City of Thornton

$34,968

Colo.

   

Henderson Police Department

$34,400

Nev.

   

City of Concord

$33,988

Calif.

   

Hernando County

$33,767

Fla.

   

Deschutes. County of

$33,730

Ore.

   

City of Norwalk

$33,712

Conn.

   

Tulare City

$33,694

Calif.

   

Snohomish County

$33,664

Wash.

   

City of Vista

$33,348

Calif.

   

City of Farmington New Mexico

$33,277

N.M.

   

West Haven City

$32,841

Conn.

   

City of Cambridge

$32,576

Mass.

   

City of Las Cruces

$31,665

N.M.

   

City of Norwalk

$30,840

Calif.

   

City of Roswell

$30,672

N.M.

   

City of Huntington Park

$30,440

Calif.

   

City of Turlock

$30,066

Calif.

   

Madera County

$29,426

Calif.

   

City of Central Falls

$28,961

R.I.

   

City of El Cajon

$28,759

Calif.

   

City of El Monte

$28,492

Calif.

   

City of Grand Junction

$28,487

Colo.

   

City of Iowa City

$28,453

Iowa

   

City of Santa Monica

$28,199

Calif.

   

City of Rancho Cordova

$28,012

Calif.

   

City of Citrus Heights

$27,692

Calif.

   

City of Cranston

$27,195

R.I.

   

City of Westminster

$27,169

Colo.

   

Valencia County

$26,889

N.M.

   

City of Downey

$26,358

Calif.

   

San Juan County

$26,237

N.M.

   

Thurston County

$25,982

Wash.

   

Clackamas County Juvenile Department

$25,771

Ore.

   

City of Spokane Valley

$25,628

Wash.

   

City of National City

$25,397

Calif.

   

City of Meriden

$25,175

Conn.

   

Dona Asta County

$24,904

N.M.

   

City of Santa Clarita

$24,677

Calif.

   

City of Chico

$24,570

Calif.

   

City of Bremerton

$23,752

Wash.

   

City of Bellflower

$23,370

Calif.

   

County of San Mateo

$23,317

Calif.

   

City of Lodi

$22,863

Calif.

   

City of Hillsboro

$22,297

Ore.

   

Town of East Hartford

$22,213

Conn.

   

Placer County

$22,116

Calif.

   

City of West Hollywood

$21,903

Calif.

   

City of Gardena

$21,556

Calif.

   

City of Delano

$21,289

Calif.

   

San Luis Obispo County

$20,862

Calif.

   

City of Bethlehem

$20,854

Pa.

   

Mesa County

$20,546

Colo.

   

County of Mendocino

$20,222

Calif.

   

City of Watsonville

$20,115

Calif.

   

City of Somerville

$20,004

Mass.

   

City of Roseville

$19,928

Calif.

   

City of Pico Rivera

$19,822

Calif.

   

City of West Covina

$19,662

Calif.

   

City of Santa Fe

$19,631

N.M.

   

City of San Mateo

$19,475

Calif.

   

City of Napa

$19,208

Calif.

   

City of Whittier

$18,915

Calif.

   

City of Paramount

$18,808

Calif.

   

City of Commerce City

$18,766

Colo.

   

City of Baldwin Park

$18,675

Calif.

   

El Dorado County

$18,435

Calif.

   

City of Carlsbad

$18,408

Calif.

   

City of Clovis

$17,616

N.M.

   

City of Grants Pass

$17,547

Ore.

   

City of Arvada

$17,484

Colo.

   

City of Lakewood

$17,447

Calif.

   

City of Manteca

$17,421

Calif.

   

City of Bell

$17,341

Calif.

   

City of Beaverton

$17,239

Ore.

   

City of Yuba City

$17,181

Calif.

   

City of Olympia

$17,168

Wash.

   

City of Daly City

$16,887

Calif.

   

City of Rio Rancho

$16,871

N.M.

   

City of Azusa

$16,834

Calif.

   

Norwich City

$16,638

Conn.

   

City of Loveland

$16,451

Colo.

   

City of Clovis

$16,434

Calif.

   

City of Longview

$16,389

Wash.

   

City of La Mesa

$16,354

Calif.

   

City of Everett

$16,288

Mass.

   

City of DeKalb

$16,225

Ill.

   

City of Glendale

$16,007

Calif.

   

City of Danbury

$15,985

Conn.

   

County of Lake

$15,980

Calif.

   

City of Centennial Colorado

$15,668

Colo.

   

County of Yuba

$15,553

Calif.

   

City of Dinuba

$15,527

Calif.

   

City of Burbank

$15,046

Calif.

   

County of Nevada

$15,020

Calif.

   

Douglas County Government

$14,813

Colo.

   

City of Santa Clara

$14,806

Calif.

   

City of Selma

$14,753

Calif.

   

Imperial County

$14,726

Calif.

   

City of Porterville

$14,726

Calif.

   

City of Petaluma

$14,566

Calif.

   

City of Atwater

$14,513

Calif.

   

City of Gilroy

$14,299

Calif.

   

City of Torrance

$14,193

Calif.

   

Village of Freeport

$14,140

N.Y.

   

Reedley Police Department

$14,113

Calif.

   

Town of Manchester

$14,068

Conn.

   

City of San Luis Obispo

$13,873

Calif.

   

City of Pittsburg

$13,659

Calif.

   

City of Sanger

$13,659

Calif.

   

City of Culver City

$13,579

Calif.

   

City of Redondo Beach

$13,552

Calif.

   

City of Newton

$13,458

Kan.

   

Tehama County District Attorney

$13,419

Calif.

   

Eureka Police Department

$13,232

Calif.

   

City of Arvin

$13,206

Calif.

   

City of Hollister

$13,152

Calif.

   

Township of Lakewood

$13,149

N.J.

   

City of Lawndale

$12,966

Calif.

   

City of Marysville

$12,956

Wash.

   

City of Sunnyvale

$12,832

Calif.

   

City of Alhambra

$12,805

Calif.

   

City of East Providence

$12,785

R.I.

   

City of El Centro

$12,725

Calif.

   

City of Mountain View

$12,485

Calif.

   

City of Ceres

$12,299

Calif.

   

Brighton Police Department

$12,036

Colo.

   

City of Redmond

$11,874

Ore.

   

City of Coalinga

$11,738

Calif.

   

City of Santee

$11,738

Calif.

   

City of Rosemead

$11,712

Calif.

   

Village of Los Lunas

$11,692

N.M.

   

City of Pearland

$11,670

Texas

   

City of Las Vegas

$11,537

N.M.

   

City of Tracy

$11,365

Calif.

   

City of Wheat Ridge

$11,288

Colo.

   

City of Northglenn

$11,217

Colo.

   

City of Puyallup

$11,115

Wash.

   

City of Walla Walla

$11,115

Wash.

   

City of Lemon Grove

$10,858

Calif.

   

Town of Stratford

$10,715

Conn.

   

City of Belen

$10,700

N.M.

   

City of La Puente

$10,671

Calif.

   

Covina Police Department

$10,645

Calif.

   

City of Moses Lake

$10,619

Wash.

   

City of Monterey

$10,351

Calif.

   

City of Red Bluff

$10,324

Calif.

   

City of Los Banos

$10,244

Calif.

   

City of Encinitas

$10,164

Calif.

   

City of Ridgecrest

$10,138

Calif.

   

City of South Lake Tahoe

$10,031

Calif.

Total

$32,737,204

 

Jessica M. Vaughan is Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, a research institute in Washington DC.

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by the Center for Immigration Studies.


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