SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Trump Administration is taking a new step in the fight against illegal immigration. Friday, the U.S. Justice Department sent warning letters to several sanctuary cities and jurisdictions across California, including Sacramento, threatening to pull federal funding.
A campaign promise turned into an executive order on Friday. President Trump’s proposed crackdown on illegal immigrants and so-called sanctuary cities took an even more ominous turn.
“It’s not surprising,” said Miguel Cordova, SEIU Local 1000 Chief of Latino Committee,”it’s just words. It’s not real.”
Cordova says he thinks this is just another scare tactic by the Trump Administration.
The Justice Department sent letters to nine jurisdictions, including Sacramento, asking they show proof that they’re cooperating with immigration enforcement. The letters threaten to withhold federal funding from communities that fail to submit the proof by June 30th.
Also on Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called on local law enforcement to help immigration agents.
“We’re talking about them having arrested somebody, for a serious offense,” said Sessions, “and we’re asking them simply to tell the federal government that they’ve apprehended this person who is subject to deportation.”
CBS 13 obtained a copy of the letter sent to the California Board of State and Community Corrections. The department declined an interview, but told CBS13 it receives about $20 million in federal grants that trickle down to local governments to help fight crimes like gangs and drugs. It also says it is in compliance with federal immigration law.
“We don’t trade civil rights for money,” said Steinberg in a March interview.
While a skeptical sheriff predicts chaos if California ignores Washington’s request.
Sheriff Jones said, “It will allow dangerous, violent, career criminals to slip through the cracks.”
Members of the California Latino, Black and Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucuses released a joint statement regarding the letters, stating in part, “The API, Black and Latino legislative caucuses are deeply troubled by the Trump Administration’s continued and unfounded attacks on the policies of the state of California, its counties and its cities.