(CNSNews.com) - When asked whether President Donald Trump would still cut off law enforcement funds to the city of Chicago because it’s a sanctuary city even though it could hamper police from fighting violent crime, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said sanctuary cities can’t have it both ways - refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials and still expecting to get law enforcement grants to handle a situation they created.
“You can't be a sanctuary city and at the same time seem to pretend or express concern about law enforcement or ask for more money when probably a number of the funds that you're using in the first place are going to law enforcement to handle the situation that you’ve created for yourself,” Spicer said.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this week that the Justice Department would not only block sanctuary cities from receiving future DOJ grants, it would recoup the federal funds it already sent to those jurisdictions.
“Chicago gets about $12 million a year in law enforcement assistance from the federal government. Would President Trump cut off those funds due to the sanctuary city status even though it would greatly hamper the police fight against street violence, something the president has repeatedly said troubles him greatly?” a reporter asked.
“It's interesting, you talk about street violence and then we cut off the funding for sanctuary cities. I think it would be interesting to want to send more money to a city that is allowing people to come into the country who are breaking the law, who, in many cases, are committing crimes -- member of gangs,” Spicer said.
“And so you can't be a sanctuary city and at the same time seem to pretend or express concern about law enforcement or ask for more money when probably a number of the funds that you're using in the first place are going to law enforcement to handle the situation that you’ve created for yourself,” he said.
Spicer noted that the president’s belief on sanctuary cities is shared by “upwards of 80 percent of the American people” that U.S. taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund cities, counties and, in some cases, states that allow people illegally in this country to potentially do us harm.
Spicer said the president’s “intentions have been very clear from the beginning.”
“I think it's vastly supported by the vast majority of the American people, but I think that to suggest that somehow they’re not inextricably linked is a failure to fully appreciate the scenario,” the press secretary said.
“Does that mean the president is more interested in deporting illegal immigrants than he is with putting shooters and killers in jail?” the reporter asked.
“No. Because if a shooter or killer is here illegally, and he’s in this country, then I think that -- again, I think, respectfully, you're delinking the two issues. If you have people who are in this country illegally that are part of a gang, that are ... a threat to public safety or committing a crime, then funding that activity and allowing that to fester is in itself a problem,” Spicer said, adding that “by not rooting that out in the first place is allowing the problem to continue and not exactly showing an attempt to solve it in the first place.”