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Congressman John Culberson Set Up a Kill Switch on Sanctuary City Funding
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November 24, 2016, 07:23 AM
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Because of the foresight of a Texas Congressman, President Trump will be able to end certain funding to the largest sanctuary cities plus the entire state of California on his first day as President. Working quietly, Culberson convinced the existing Justice Department to certify those cities as non-compliant with federal law, thereby making them vulnerable to loss of money from Washington.

And if President Trump should get cold feet about tough immigration law enforcement, he should note that a November Rasmussen poll found that large majority of voters favors deportation of illegal alien criminals:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 81% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a plan that calls for mandatory deportation of illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a felony in this country. Just 13% are opposed. These findings are nearly identical to those measured in August of last year.
 

Most sanctuary cities don’t mind sheltering foreign gangsters and violent thugs along with mere job thieves from across the border.

On Wednesday, Congressman Culberson appeared on Fox News to discuss the issue:

ERIC SHAWN: With the imminent arrival of a new administration and a new attorney general to enforce immigration laws, sanctuary cities across the country have potentially to face the risk of losing federal funds if they refused to cooperate with immigration officials. But one congressman took action last July in the Appropriations Committee that uses the power of the purse to deny some Department of Justice funds and he says all that waits to go into action is a simple signature. That congressman joins us now; he is John Culberson of Houston, he is the chairman of the House Appropriations, Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee. Congressman, good to see this morning. So you say this fund cutoff could actually be implemented on day one?

CONGRESSMAN JOHN CULBERSON: Yes Eric, in fact using existing law and the power of the purse, I have seen to it that the top 10 sanctuary cities in America have already been certified as violating existing federal law and therefore everything is pre-positioned for these 10 cities — including Chicago, New York, the entire state of California — they will lose all their federal law enforcement money, if President Trump chooses to, the president can cut off their money at noon on January 20th of 2017. If they do not change their sanctuary policies and hand over criminal illegal aliens in their custody to be deported, their days of receiving federal law enforcement money are over.

SHAWN: Obviously this is something that the Obama administration has not agreed with.

CULBERSON: In fact I, as chairman of the subcommittee in charge of all the money for the Department of Justice, I quietly persuaded Attorney General Loretta Lynch to implement this new policy this past July seventh, so it’s already done. I did it as subcommittee chairman using existing law and the influence of the power of the purse that the founding fathers so wisely entrusted to Congress. I did it quietly and and thoughtfully, and I didn’t embarrass anybody so it’s already done, pre-positioned.

SHAWN: I’m sorry — pre-positioned but hasn’t gone into action?

CULBERSON: Attorney General Lynch has already notified every city and state in the country that unless they cooperate 100 percent of the time with requests for immigration information about criminal aliens in local custody, then those local jurisdictions lose all their federal law enforcement money. That’s already up on the Department of Justice website. It has been official policy since July seventh. I just didn’t make any noise about it because the purpose of this election — America wants us to get it done, to get the job done, so I’ve taken care of it the job is done and President Trump can now cut off their money at noon on January 20th because it’s been policy. . . [cut off]

Breitbart has an explanation of the legal details:
Sanctuary Cities Risk Losing DOJ Funds in 2017, Texas Congressman Says, Breitbart.com, November 21, 2016

Sanctuary cities and other jurisdictions will now have to choose between protecting illegal aliens and receiving federal law enforcement grants thanks to the work of a Texas congressman.

Texas Representative John Culberson (R-TX) used his position as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science and the congressional power of the purse to force the Department of Justice (DOJ) to enforce existing law requiring state and local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with immigration officials. Culberson announced in February an agreement with outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch to block federal law enforcement grants to jurisdictions with sanctuary policies, Breitbart Texas reported. Since that time, the Texas congressman has been working with DOJ officials to certify the top-ten jurisdictions not in compliance with the law.

Citing his committee’s power over the DOJ’s budget, Culberson stated in February:

Any refusal by the Department to comply with these reasonable and timely requests will factor heavily in my consideration of their 2017 budget requests, and whether or not I will include language in the fiscal year 2017 CJS appropriations bill prohibiting the award of law enforcement grants to jurisdictions that harbor illegal aliens. I will include language in this year’s bill requiring the DOJ to amend the application process for Byrne JAG, COPS, and SCAAP grants so that grantees must certify under oath that they are in compliance with section 1373 of title 8 of the United States Code.
The law was passed in 1996 during the administration of President Bill Clinton to force local and state jurisdictions to cooperate with immigration officials or risk losing federal funding. Part of the process requires the federal agency’s office of inspector general to certify that a jurisdiction is not in compliance in order to block funding.

“The law requires cooperation with immigration officials 100 percent of the time,” Culberson told Breitbart Texas in an exclusive interview. In February, Culberson provided Attorney General Lynch with a list of more than 300 sanctuary cities compiled by the Center for Immigration Studies.

From that list, the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General compiled a top-ten list of sanctuary jurisdictions. Those jurisdictions receive about 65 percent of federal law enforcement grants managed by the DOJ he said. Those jurisdictions include the entire states of California and Connecticut; Orleans Parish in Louisiana; New York City; Philadelphia; Cook County, Illinois; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Clark County, Nevada. These jurisdictions have received more than $342 million in federal payments.

The 16-page report from the inspector general’s office was completed in May 2016, but was initially marked as “Law Enforcement Sensitive,” Culberson told Breitbart Texas. This marking prevented making the information public. Since that time, he used his power over the agency’s budget to force the inspector general to remove the classification. This was accomplished late last week, the congressman said.

He stated that the DOJ has notified these jurisdictions that unless they become 100 percent compliant with the law, they will not be eligible to receive these grants for the next fiscal year. The grant process begins in January 2017, Culberson explained. “The applications are taken in February and March and the awards are announced early in the summer months,” he stated.

While the law was passed in 1996, it took Culberson’s actions to force the DOJ to finally enforce the law for the first time in July 2016. “I had to stand on their ‘air hose,’” Culberson explained referring to Congress’ power to cut a federal agencies’ funds. “For those on the top-ten list, it is done.”

“The critical steps have already been taken,” Chairman Culberson stated. “President Trump and Attorney General Sessions will, on day one, be able to strip the funding from these sanctuary jurisdictions simply by enforcing existing law.”

Culberson said the action taken by the DOJ sets a precedent that can be used by other agencies to cut funding to sanctuary cities and other similar jurisdictions. “The days of receiving federal money while protecting illegal aliens are over,” he said.

In addition to blocking future federal grants, the incoming administration can use this same law to recover funds that have already been paid to these jurisdictions, the congressman explained. “This means, the State of California could be forced to repay the more than $3 billion in grants received over the past 10 years,” he told Breitbart Texas.

“I have encouraged the chairmen of other appropriations committees to take the same actions in their areas of jurisdiction,” Culberson said. “The timing on this action by the DOJ is perfect. The new administration can go right to work to force these jurisdictions to comply or simply choose to stop receiving federal money.”