The U.S. Department of Justice gave $342,168,401 in grant money to 10 “sanctuary” states and cities that shield illegal aliens, even violent ones, from deportation by refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials, according to a Judicial Watch report.
In a recent memorandum to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed that at least 10 state and local jurisdictions that receive grants from the OJP and Office of Violence against Women (OVW) have policies limiting or effectively precluding local officials’ cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“Among them is Connecticut, a trailblazer in the sanctuary movement that received more than $69 million in grants from the DOJ,” said Judicial Watch.
“Connecticut has long protected illegal immigrants with sanctuary policies and even offers them special drivers’ licenses, known as Drive Only. The state also gives illegal aliens discounted tuition at public colleges and universities and authorities work hard to restrict the feds from deporting illegal immigrants.
Judicial Watch noted that last year, an illegal immigrant who served 17 years in prison for attempted murder stabbed a 25-year-old woman to death in Norwich. The killer had been slated for deportation at least three times.
California, another sanctuary state that offers illegal immigrants taxpayer-funded perks, topped Judicial Watch’s list with $132,409,635 in DOJ grants.
“Last year Judicial Watch obtained records showing that violent crime—including murder and rape—in the Bay area has skyrocketed since the San Francisco Sheriff and City Council expanded illegal alien sanctuary policies in 2013. Under the ordinance, San Francisco law enforcement agencies are required to ignore most U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers.”
Judicial Watch is investigating whether San Francisco violated the law by releasing from jail Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant deported five times, who shot and killed Kate Steinle at one of the most popular tourist spots in San Francisco.
Judicial Watch said in some cases, elected officials in sanctuary cities “brag about defying federal immigration laws.”
For example, Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, is mentioned in the DOJ Inspector General report for publicly stating: “We are not going to turn people over to ICE, and we are not going to check their immigration status.”
The ten jurisdictions highlighted in the report, and the amount of grant money received as of March 17, 2016, were: Connecticut, which had received $69,305,444; California, $132,409,635; Orleans Parish, La., $4,737,964; New York City, $60,091,942; Philadelphia, $16,505,312; Cook County, Ill., $6,018,544; Chicago, $28,523,222; Miami-Dade County, Fla., $10,778,815; Milwaukee, Wis., $7,539,572; and Clark County, Nev., $6,257,951.
In its report, Judicial Watch noted that the Justice Department, the agency dispensing the money to jurisdictions that flout federal immigration law, is responsible for enforcing the law and defending the interests of the United States. The DOJ is also charged with providing federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime, according to its mission statement, and seeking just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior.