Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday slammed Chicago officials for suing the Trump administration over withholding federal funds to sanctuary cities, touting Miami as in "full compliance and eligible for all federal law enforcement grant dollars."
"The most fundamental duty of government is to ensure the safety which is a part of the liberty of its people," Sessions said at the PortMiami cargo seaport in Miami. "Respect for the rule of law has broken down.
"In Chicago, I suggest the so-called sanctuary policies are one sad example of that.
"Every year, too many American lives are victimized as a result of sanctuary city policies — whether it be theft, robbery, drugs, assault, battery, even murder.
"But the leaders in Chicago have made this a political issue and direct their police to refuse requests," Sessions said, referring to officers who refuse to provide Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents information and access to criminal illegals held in city jails.
"Instead, the police are forced to release the criminal alien back into the community without regard to the seriousness of the crime or how long the rap sheet may be.
"This is a serious problem for the people."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sued the administration last week over the Justice Department's plan to withhold the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants because of its sanctuary cities policy.
Sessions announced the plan last month.
To receive the grants, communities would need to provide advance notice to ICE agents of illegals about to be released from custody and provide access to local jails.
Chicago would receive about $3.2 million in Byrne grants, The Chicago Tribune reported. The funds are mostly used to buy police vehicles.
In touting the Miami-Dade County region as complying with the Justice Department, Sessions said "it means more money for crime-fighting, means we're partners, partners together in keeping everyone safe.
"Miami-Dade is an example of what is possible through hard work, professional policing, and a rededication to the rule of law.
"It is proof that the entire nation can do better."
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