By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Politcal Reporter
Monday, April 3, 2017, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) announced in an email that she supports Attorney General Jeff Sessions decision to deny Department of Justice grants to sanctuary cities. Rep. Roby called the decision by Sessions a, “Good move.”
Congresswoman Roby wrote, “Sanctuary cities are municipalities that have implemented policies designed to help illegal immigrants avoid deportation. For instance, the city of San Francisco prohibits its police force from complying with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents by denying them access to interview incarcerated immigrants to determine legal status. ICE depends on cooperation from state and local authorities, and sanctuary city policies greatly hinder their ability to enforce our immigration laws. Sanctuary cities are magnets for illegal immigrants, including some dangerous people with criminal records. There are more than 140 jurisdictions and six states actively obstructing enforcement of federal immigration laws with sanctuary policies. This practice puts Americans at risk, and I believe the federal government should do all it can to discourage it.”
Rep. Roby said, “When I joined the Judiciary Committee, made it clear that addressing our nation’s illegal immigration problem is one of my top priorities. Last week, the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security held a hearing on restoring immigration enforcement, and the issue of sanctuary cities was discussed at length. Witnesses ranging from a local sheriff and policy experts to a retired judge testified about the real world effects of the Obama Administration’s relaxed enforcement of immigration laws. Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) referried to it as the “systematic dismantling of immigration enforcement infrastructure,” and he’s right.”
The conservative congresswoman declared, “These mistakes are being reversed. Just last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that sanctuary cities will no longer be eligible to receive grants from the Department of Justice. This was a good move. Cities, counties, and states that refuse to cooperate with federal agencies to enforce the laws of this country should not be rewarded with taxpayer dollars intended to facilitate law and order.”
On Monday March 27, 2017, AG Sessions announced that the Justice Department Sessions said that DOJ had already identified three grant programs: the COPS grants, Byrne grants and State Criminal Alien Assistance Program money where state and local governments that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities are not eligible under current law, though the Obama administration had not been enforcing those requirements.
AG Sessions told reporters at the White House Press briefing, “We have simply got to end this policy,” of sanctuary cities. Sessions said that local law enforcement in sanctuary cities have been shielding criminals accused of, “charges and convictions against these aliens include drug trafficking, hit and run, rape, sex offenses against a child and even murder.” Sessions said such policies “make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets.” AG Sessions said, “We intend to use all the lawful authorities we have to make sure our state and local officials … are in sync with the federal government.”
Sessions later went on Fox News and told host Bill O’Reilly, “We are looking at other possibilities that would be detrimental [to these cities]. In the future, we can put requirements on some.”
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) has said that sanctuary cities will not be tolerated in Alabama and the legislature is currently considering a law banning them in Alabama.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.
(Original reporting by Fox News, Salon, and the Washington Times contributed to this report)