Throughout President Donald Trump’s Campaign, the Republican Nominee promised to defund cities and states that protected prosecuted undocumented migrants. Following his inauguration, the president signed an order to defund communities that did not cooperate with federal immigration authorities, and now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced a crackdown on sanctuary cities.
Sessions’ urging for sanctuary cities to begin cooperating with federal authorities regarding illegal immigration sparked serious controversy, with several in opposition and others in favor, over his warning. Furthermore, his statement has rose questions as to the limits of federal power.
The Attorney General’s declaration outraged several liberals. In cutting grants (totalling billions a year) from the Justice Department to sanctuary cities, Sessions would undoubtedly incentivize these communities to stop protecting convicted migrants.
Should these areas still resist the Trump Administration’s Agenda for illegal migrants, the decreased financing will presumably force them to collect money through private support. Even so, politicians have came out in opposition. Attorney General for New York Eric Schneiderman plans to battle any withdrawn financing.
Others have came out in favor of defunding sanctuary cities. The argument is that local authorities need to cooperate with the federal agenda, and Jeff Sessions’ proclamation will pressure them to do so.
Some government officials have already taken action to support this agenda. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a law preventing sanctuary cities from forming and benefits for undocumented people. During the signing, he referenced the president’s ban on sanctuary cities.
On top of this disagreement is a greater question, one of the balance of power between states and the federal government. Some are wondering if Jeff Sessions will misuse his newfound federal power, especially regarding marijuana legalization (something Sessions has long been against), as he could manipulate state or regional policies through threatening to defund those areas.
Only time, however, will tell. Expect more coverage of this story!