Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned sanctuary cities Tuesday they will lose millions in grant money if they do not give immigration officials notice before releasing illegal aliens from local jails.
"So-called sanctuary policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes," Sessions said in announcing the new requirements at the Justice Department, NBC News reported.
"This is what the American people should be able to expect from their cities and states.
"These long overdue requirements will help us take down MS-13 and other violent transnational gangs, and make our country safer," Sessions said.
The attorney general announced new guidelines for state and local governments who might seek about $250 million in federal grant money to fight crime, according to the report.
Under the regulations, governments must agree to give the Department of Homeland Security at least 48 hours notice before releasing inmates from jail when the agency seeks advance notification.
The communities must also allow Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents to interview those in jails who are suspected of being in the United States illegally.
Sessions' announcement, coming as President Donald Trump continues to attack him for recusing himself from his agency's Russia investigation, is part of a concentrated effort to crack down on sanctuary cities by the administration.
It also is a departure from previous actions signed by the president because it only requires cities to give advance notice before releasing any suspected illegals, not hold them for immigration authorities, NBC reported.
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