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Will “sanctuary cities” lose federal funding over immigration?

Posted on April 3, 2017 in Immigration

In recent weeks, the battle over immigration enforcement in so-called “sanctuary cities” has been escalating.

In fact, according to a recent report by the New York Post, Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Attorney General, recently warned that the current administration will take steps to withhold federal law enforcement grants from cities that do not cooperate with immigration authorities. This threatened move could potentially impact roughly 300 jurisdictions nationwide, including the California cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, among others.

Ultimately, this dispute stems from the fact that certain cities and counties believe that immigration enforcement, which is governed by federal law, should be handled solely by the federal authorities, and not saddled on the backs of local police.

The general idea is that local law enforcement will let otherwise law-abiding immigrants live their lives without having to worry about deportation. In many cases, a person’s immigration status has no bearing on the enforcement of local/state law, so police in sanctuary cities typically don’t even need to ask about it.

At this point, it is unclear whether the threats of withholding funding will ever occur. Not only is much of the money subject to congressional appropriation, but a federal lawsuit has been filed arguing that such a move would be unconstitutional.

There is no denying that immigration is certainly a hot-button issue in the U.S. right now, with passionate arguments on both sides of the aisle. However, it is important to always remember that the actions taken and the laws passed have actual implications on real families — families that have come to the U.S. in hopes of a new future.

If you or a loved one is facing deportation, or you simply have questions about immigration law in general, you need a knowledgeable immigration attorney in your corner. Attempting to deal with such a complex legal issue alone is never a good idea, so contact Rose, Klein & Marias LLP today.