Proponents of so-called “Sanctuary Cities” received a blow recently when the Obama administration reported that Federal Law Enforcement funding would be denied if they fail to comply with new DOJ policies.
The new policies state that if a city fails to uphold Section 1373 of the United States Code, it will forfeit its eligibility to receive funds through the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program and the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program. Section 1373 prohibits the restriction, interference or obstruction of immigration information by government officials or entities.
The new policies gained national attention after the high-profile murder of Kate Steinle woman by an illegal alien with a criminal record in 2015. The 32-year-old was shot in the back while on a San-Francisco pier.
Republican John Culberson, a Texas Congressman, urged the funding changes in a letter sent to the Attorney General in February. “Sanctuary cities are a hub for illegal aliens and criminal activity, and we’ve seen the tragic results of these policies time and time again,” he said.
According to the updated policies, all government personnel must be informed of the changes and must adhere to them. In addition, subgrants will not be allowed to be issued to cities that violate the guidelines.
Congressman Culberson praised the Justice Department for its new stance on sanctuary cities, saying that local governments need to make a choice between protecting illegal criminals or receiving federal law enforcement grants. These cities will however, still be eligible for other federal funding by the Obama Administration.
The policy changes came directly after Senate Democrats stopped “Kate’s Law” from passing in the Senate. The bill would have required a mandatory prison sentence of five years for aliens entering the United States illegally more than twice or those convicted of brutal crimes.