During Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s daily press briefing today (March 27), Attorney General Jeff Sessions took to the podium to inform state and local leaders that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will no longer award grants to cities that don’t comply with immigration laws as laid out by President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders.
“Today, I’m urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws, including 8 U.S.C. Section 1373,” Sessions said. “Moreover, the Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for Department of Justice grants be certified compliant with 1373 as a condition of receiving those awards.”
Attorney General Sessions: Jurisdictions must demonstrate they are not sanctuary cities in order to receive Justice Dept. grants. pic.twitter.com/N8n3dHyVNN
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 27, 2017
Though there is no set definition for sanctuary cities, they are commonly understood to be cities that do not detain immigrants to assist federal immigration agents. The code Sessions mentioned, 8 U.S.C. Section 1373, concerns “communication between government agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service” (now referred to as Citizenship and Immigration Services). It says that:
Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State or local law, a Federal, State or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.