By Steve Neavling
The Justice Department warned sanctuary cities and counties this week that they will not receive federal grants if the continue to fail to work with the crackdown on undocumented immigrants.
At a White House briefing, Attorney General Jeff sessions said the municipalities that refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities stand to lose a lot of federal funding, Time reports.
“We intend to use all the lawful authority we have to make sure our state and local officials who are so important to law enforcement are in sync with the federal government,” Sessions said.
There is a question about whether the federal government could withhold a wide array of federal funds from cities over their sanctuary status and still survive a legal challenge. Federalism experts say that case law has built up doctrines that help states maintain their resistance. One is the anti-commandeering principle, which suggests that the federal government cannot force state officials to enforce federal law. Other case law suggests that whatever funds the government is cutting need to be in some way related to the policy issue at stake — so the federal government would be on shaky ground withholding transportation funds in an attempt to force states to comply on an education issue, for example.
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