L.A. Mayor Vows to Fight Trump on Illegal Immigration
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday that his city will go to war with the Trump administration if the Department of Justice tries to yank federal funds. Responding to renewed warnings from Attorney General Jeff Sessions that sanctuary cities were in danger of losing grants, Garcetti said he would go to any legal lengths necessary to fight what he called an unconstitutional threat.
“Slashing funds for first-responders, for our port and airport, for counterterrorism, crime-fighting and community-building serves no one – not this city, not the federal government, not the American people,” he said. “We will fight to protect the safety and dignity of all Angelenos, and we will work closely with our representatives in Congress to make sure that Los Angeles does not go without federal resources that help protect millions of people every day.”
The Los Angeles Daily News reports that millions of dollars could hang in the balance should Sessions and Trump make good on their warnings:
Among the Justice Department grants received by the city of Los Angeles in recent years include $1.8 million from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which goes to the city’s initiative for reducing criminal gang activity.
The city also was awarded $1 million last year from the Justice Department to be put toward a $69 million program to equip all police officers in the field with body cameras.
It was not immediately clear how much funding could be at risk if Los Angeles were deemed a sanctuary city.
Garcetti doesn’t actually consider Los Angeles a sanctuary city, and the police do have a policy that requires them to notify federal immigration authorities if they have an “undocumented alien” in custody who has been arrested for anything more significant than a simple misdemeanor. However, that policy – Special Order 40 – also prohibits LAPD from asking residents about their immigration status or arresting people for violating immigration law.
In an announcement from the White House on Monday, Sessions said that cities looking for federal grants would now have to willingly inform immigration authorities of the undocumented status of anyone they have in custody.
“I urge the nation’s states and cities to carefully consider the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws,” Sessions said.
Local mayors like Garcetti believe the Trump administration does not have the right under the 10th Amendment to withhold funding as a way of coercing them to follow a specific policy. Notice, of course, that none of these liberal mayors said anything when Obama tried to do the exact same thing to North Carolina when that state defied his ludicrous interpretation of Title IX. Only now, when trying desperately to fight this administration and protect illegal immigrants, do they suddenly become interested in local sovereignty.
What an astounding set of priorities…