On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rolled out new requirements for so-called “sanctuary cities” to receive federal funding from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Sanctuary cities must now allow federal immigration officials access to their correctional facilities, and alert them when releasing illegal immigrants facing deportation. The previous rule simply required that cities allow local law enforcement to cooperate with immigration officials.
Sessions released a statement on the rule changes, saying, “So-called sanctuary policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes… We must encourage these `sanctuary’ jurisdictions to change their policies and partner with federal law enforcement to remove criminals.”
The DOJ has focused much of their recent efforts on combatting gang activity and criminal illegal immigration. Sessions promised that these new measures will help further that mission. “These long overdue requirements will help us take down MS-13 and other violent transnational gangs, and make our country safer,” he said.
The changes are set to take place in September, barring any judicial setbacks.
Jeff Sessions exemplifies a rare willingness to enforce laws as they are written, and implement meaningful immigration reform. Unfortunately, President Trump has expressed a lack of faith in him for recusing himself from any investigations into the Trump campaign, in which Sessions was highly involved. If the president truly cares about fulfilling his promise to uphold the rule of law on immigration – which played a critical role his election – he should allow the Attorney General to continue doing his job with minimal outside pressure and distractions.