Republicans Redouble Efforts to Defund Sanctuary Cities

EXCLUSIVE: Republicans are renewing their fight against “sanctuary cities,” with a new bill that aims to pull immigration funding from those jurisdictions that shield illegal immigrants from deportation – while protecting law enforcement officials who follow federal law.

The bill, introduced by House freshman Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, seeks to cut off federal law enforcement grants to states that do not comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests. Gooden, speaking to Fox News, said the cuts are focused and designed to sting scofflaw states without harming key enforcement priorities.

“We’re not targeting terrorism preparedness, drug enforcement or other DHS grants unrelated to immigration,” he said. “This is in no way going to disrupt law enforcement practices that are ongoing as respect to those grants.”

The push is a more targeted version of a stalled effort by the Trump administration that sought to cut law enforcement grants from sanctuary areas in 2017. The Justice Department wrote to 29 sanctuary jurisdictions in November 2017, saying it intended to withhold law enforcement grants due to their policies.