DOJ repeals Trump’s restriction on sanctuary jurisdictions
The DOJ (US Department of Justice) recently ended a policy implemented by former President Trump’s administration, which freezes or withholds grants from states, cities or counties that did not cooperate with immigration entities during his term, known as “Sanctuary Cities or Jurisdictions”.
A common practice among sanctuary jurisdictions is to adopt regulations that ban local law enforcement entities from cooperating with certain immigration agencies such as ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), which are in charge of enforcing immigration law both at the borders and within the country.
That said, the Trump administration tried to cut funding available to sanctuary cities because one of its goals was to expedite deportation proceedings and detain as many undocumented immigrants in the shortest time possible, with the help of entities like ICE. Therefore, his administration implemented a policy that substantially limited the ability of cities, counties, and states to receive grants if they did not cooperate with immigration authorities.
To remove this policy, the DOJ stated that all states, cities and counties eligible to receive grants and be part of federal funds programs will no longer have to comply with any requirements that involve the immigration sector, nor will they have to cooperate with entities like ICE to access government benefits.
This is extremely positive news for sanctuary jurisdictions that resisted the Trump administration’s policies for the past four years while trying to uphold their ideals and what they consider to be right.
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Trump targeted sanctuary cities
To understand the issue at hand, it is important to clarify that reducing illegal immigration levels was a priority for the Trump administration. Therefore, it used all the tools at its disposal to achieve this goal and implemented several restrictive policies, classified on many occasions as “arbitrary and capricious”. The reality, according to the testimony of dozens of immigrants, is that former President Trump’s policies many times created a hostile environment and instilled fear among the most vulnerable communities.
Adding to that, the Trump administration directly targeted sanctuary cities and narrowed the alternatives available for them to access government benefits because they were not cooperating with its immigration agenda. It is important to analyze this fact mainly because, according to former President Trump, the reason why it was important to reduce immigration levels was precisely to improve the quality of life of American citizens and protect the economy.
However, denying federal funds or grants to certain cities for not cooperating with immigration agencies might be seen as counterintuitive as that would only affect local populations, which are American citizens.
Therefore, the fact that Biden’s DOJ removes restrictive policies such as withholding grants from sanctuary jurisdictions definitely opens a door for the immigration sector and transforms the federal government’s approach to immigration law enforcement within the US.
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