Trump AG Defines ‘Sanctuary Cities’, Clarifies ICE Compliance

immigrants being searched. Travis County. 287(g) expands to 18 Texas counties.
Image: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Local governments comply when they don’t ask for immigration status. DOJ confirmed 8 U.S.C. § 1373 does not require compliance with ICE detainer requests.


By Lisa Soronen

For the most part, and for now, Attorney General Jeff Session’s memo defining ”sanctuary jurisdictions” per President Donald Trump’s sanctuary jurisdictions executive order (EO) returns the law to what it was before the order was issued.

Because of specific language in the EO, so-called sanctuary jurisdictions were afraid the federal government was going to take away all federal grant funding if, among other things, the sanctuary cities did not comply with warrantless, voluntary Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers, which instruct jails to detain undocumented persons after they may be otherwise free to go so that ICE may pick them up and deport them.

Many cities and counties — even those that don’t label themselves sanctuary jurisdictions — don’t respond to warrantless ICE detainers because numerous courts have held that doing so violates the Fourth Amendment.

In the memo, General Sessions determines that the term “sanctuary jurisdiction” only refers to jurisdictions that “willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373.”

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Get details on 8 U.S.C. § 1373 as it relates to Sanctuary City policies:

Resource: 10 ‘Safe City’ Tools for ‘Sanctuary Cities’

Learn more about the Sanctuary Cities Federal funding issue:

District Judge Blocks Federal Govt from Sanctuary Cities Defunding

Read about how the Texas Governor blocked funding to Travis County in March 2017:

Texas & Trump Finger & Punish Travis County on Immigration Compliance

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