President Trump appears to be escalating the war with sanctuary cities, giving the most blunt warning yet of what is to come.
Whereas the media and most of the establishment at one time dismissed such talk as mere bluster by Trump, they have no illusions any longer. Trump promised Americans that he would enforce immigration law, and there is no more important a symbol of the defiant pro-illegal immigrant left than sanctuary cities. Trump knows that most of these cities will fight hard to evade federal law. This is a winner take all struggle, but in this case, Trump has the upper hand. From Fox:
In the Trump administration’s most pointed warning yet, Sessions said federal law allows withholding of federal funding to sanctuary cities, and signaled that such measures will soon be taken. Sessions, who took the podium at White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s regular media briefing, warned of a pending crackdown by the administration.
“Such policies cannot continue,” he said. “They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the street.
“The American people know that when cities and states refuse to help enforce immigration laws, our nation is less safe,” Sessions said.
This press conference should be seen as the real start to this war. By sending Sessions out with such uncompromising words, Trump is signaling the start of hostilities. It’s time to admit defeat like Miami’s Mayor recently did. If not, they should be prepared to lose big. One probable holdout is Los Angeles whose mayor said,” LAPD has never participated in programs that deputize local law enforcement to act as immigration agents, and on my watch they never will.” Or Chicago where Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s spokesman said, “The administration’s plan to deny federal funds to cities that are standing up for their values is unconstitutional…Chicago is proud to stand with 34 cities and counties across the country in asking a federal court to prevent the federal government from illegally withholding federal funds.” It’s not likely that either of those two radicals will back down. Trump is going to have to wield the hammer against them. Here’s what that hammer looks like:
“Perhaps telegraphing action President Trump warned of during his campaign, Sessions said the administration will pull billions in federal funding to sanctuary communities if they remain in noncompliance.
Sessions said communities applying for Department of Justice grants will be required to show they are following immigration law.
The DOJ will withhold, and could potentially “claw back” grants to localities out of compliance with federal immigration law, Sessions said. He noted one Justice Department office alone was expecting to award more than $4.1 billion in grants this fiscal year.
That is a tremendous amount of money these states and cities stand to lose. Will they stand defiant or fold? We may not have long to wait for an answer.