The Justice Department sent letters to police departments in Baltimore, Md., Albuquerque, N.M., Stockton and San Bernardino, Calif. telling them if they wanted federal help to root out drug trafficking and gang crime, they’d have to work with federal immigration authorities.
Among other things, the Justice Department said they must give the authorities access to jails and provide advance notice before releasing someone in custody who is wanted on immigration violations.
The four cities targeted had all expressed interest in the DOJ’s new Public Safety Partnership, which enlists federal agents, analysts and technology to help communities find solutions to crime.
The letter read, “Based on our review, we have concluded that your jurisdiction has levels of violence that exceed the national average, that your jurisdiction is ready to receive the intensive assistance the Department is prepared to provide, and that your jurisdiction is taking steps to reduce its violent crimes.”
The letter also asks that the police departments in those cities to provide proof of their compliance. The deadline to do so is August 18th.
Separately last week, Sessions told jurisdictions they need to meet the same conditions or lose out on millions of dollars from a separate program that aims to send grant money to support law enforcement.
The attorney general rolled out the rules as part of his promised crackdown on sanctuary cities.
Of course the threat was not well received, and there was a strong pushback.
Some of the things that the cities use the funds for are supplies for police officers, such as bulletproof vests and body cameras.