AG Sessions says he’ll punish sanctuaries, cities could lose billions of dollars

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday he’ll begin punishing sanctuary cities, withholding potentially billions of dollars in federal money — and even clawing back funds that had been doled out in the past.

Speaking at the White House, Mr. Sessions said his department is preparing to dole out more than $4 billion in funds this year, but will try prevent any of it from going to sanctuaries.

“Countless Americans would be alive today … if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended,” Mr. Sessions said.

He said he’s carrying out a policy laid out by the Obama administration last year, which identified three grant programs — the COPS grants, Byrne grants and State Criminal Alien Assistance Program money — that already require sanctuary certification.

The Obama administration didn’t end up enforcing that policy, but Mr. Sessions said he’ll begin.

Sanctuaries are jurisdictions that thwart federal immigration agents’ efforts to deport illegal immigrants, usually be refusing to comply with detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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