dglobalnews.com Trump seeks reconsideration of sanctuary cities ruling
Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Orlando Mckenzie

Trump seeks reconsideration of sanctuary cities ruling

Trump seeks reconsideration of sanctuary cities ruling

Monday's memo from Sessions makes clear that the definition of "sanctuary jurisdiction" for the Trump administration will be narrow, specifically limited to localities that "willfully refuse to comply" with a piece of federal law requiring local jurisdictions to communicate citizenship status information with the federal government.

It's an important distinction ― almost all jurisdictions, even those labeled sanctuary cities, say they do comply with the law to provide information.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a department memorandum Monday that the department may "tailor grants to promote a lawful system of immigration".

In January, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, which stated that "sanctuary jurisdictions" were "not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary". The judge said the administration intended the executive order to apply broadly to all sorts of federal funding. The memo also clarifies that potential denial of funding concerns a pool of grants administered by the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security and not the entire federal funding stream available to cities and counties.

"Sanctuary city" is a broad term, but is most often applied to jurisdictions that don't comply with all of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's "detainer" requests to hold individuals who would otherwise be released. And he raised concerns that the specific immigration law the administration cited could be construed to require cities to comply with requests by US authorities to keep people in custody while they await deportation.

At least one local government, Miami-Dade County, reversed its policy as a result of the threat.

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U.S. District Judge William Orrick III in San Francisco had issued a pretrial injunction against Trump's policy last month.

The memo from Sessions will probably stir some relief among a broad swath of US cities, including the nine that the Trump administration has labeled sanctuary jurisdictions so far.

His new memo also signals that for future grants, federal authorities may prioritize places that honor requests to detain people in local law enforcement custody to give federal officials time to arrive.

Until now, no official definition of a sanctuary jurisdiction has existed.

The Justice Department is looking for more ways to deny coveted federal grant money to so-called sanctuary cities.

The Trump administration contends that local authorities endanger public safety when they decline to hand over for deportation illegal immigrants arrested for crimes.

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