The Department of Justice filed a motion Monday asking a San Francisco federal judge to reconsider his ruling temporarily blocking enforcement of President Trump's executive order on sanctuary cities. "Consistent with this authority, over the years, the Department has tailored grants to focus on, among other things, homeland security, violent crime (including drug and gang activity), and domestic violence", Sessions wrote.
The memo clarified a portion of Trump's January executive order on immigration, which administration officials originally touted as a shot across the bow to all cities who do not comply with federal immigration enforcement. But the Sessions memo suggests the Justice Department still can attach more stringent conditions to the money it doles out. The memo Monday applies to municipalities with laws specifically forbidding their police to notify federal authorities when an illegal immigrant is about to be released from custody. That suggests officials could seek ways to withhold money from communities that refuse to honor detainer requests from federal immigration authorities.
To read this article in one of Houston's most-spoken languages, click on the button below. Some said Sessions was trying to bring the US back to the "war on drugs" policies of the Reagan and George W. Bush presidencies. The administration suffered an earlier defeat when two federal judges suspended executive orders restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries.
Sessions' memo did say that the DOJ will tailor grants in order to "promote a lawful system of immigration".
Sessions already has threatened to pull money from jurisdictions that hinder communication between local police and immigration authorities. It sent warning letters to nine localities in April.
In his memo announcing the change in strategy, Sessions called for more uniform sentencing and a return to Bush-era policies of mandatory minimum sentences, a practice critics say is detrimental to rehabilitation and keeps drug addicts unnecessarily imprisoned when they are convicted of a nonviolent offense.
Defense attorney Kurt Kerns said Wednesday he hasn't had problems with federal prosecutors in Topeka and Wichita, but his dealings with the Kansas City office have not been pleasant. "The federal government can't hold a gun to the head of cities and counties and force them to spend their limited police resources on immigration enforcement".