By Jack Mayne The City of Burien was categorically threatened by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday (March 27) when he threatened to strip some “sanctuary cities” of coveted Justice Department grants for state and local law enforcement, saying those places that did not comply with a particular federal law on immigration would not be eligible for money, the Washington Post reported. Burien joined Seattle earlier this year in declaring itself to be a sanctuary city that would not work with federal agents to arrest illegal immigrants. Seattle earlier became a sanctuary city, and the King County Sheriff’s Office has a long-standing policy not to ask about immigration status nor to assist federal law enforcement officers enforce immigration statutes. Sessions said in Washington Monday that he urges cities “to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and to rethink these policies. Such policies make their cities and states less safe, and put them at risk of losing valuable federal dollars.” The Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump gave the attorney general permission to “sanction any city that doesn’t readily hand over undocumented immigrants for deportation,” the Post reported. Sessions said the Justice Department will take steps to “claw back any funds awarded to a jurisdiction” that violates federal law. The Justice Department will award more than $4.1 billion in grants to state and local jurisdictions this fiscal year. In reaction, Washington’s 7th District Member of Congress, Pramila Jayapal spoke out against the Sessions comments. “The Trump administration’s latest attack on sanctuary cities is nothing more than political posturing based on alternative facts,” Jayapal said in a news release from Washington, D.C. “The government’s own data shows that the crime rate is lower in sanctuary jurisdictions than their non-sanctuary counterparts. “In the meantime, our cities will not be bullied into making their own neighborhoods less safe by compromising the trust local police have built with immigrant communities. This is a nonsensical policy based on xenophobic falsehoods,” said Jayapal. Also, here’s a statement from King County Executive Dow Constantine:

“The White House continues to use fear to try to divide us. Their intent is clear, but the legal authority is not. If this is about complying with federal law, King County should continue to receive federal funds for important criminal justice programs. “If this is about coercing a local jurisdiction to imprison people without judicial process then no, we will not be bullied — we will continue to honor the Constitution, rather than the extrajudicial orders of any person, including the President. That may or may not put some Department of Justice funding to communities like ours at risk. If this order is a precursor to an attempt to withhold other federal funds, the White House will face legal challenges. Case law restricts the federal government’s ability to place extraneous conditions on spending and grants for state and local governments. “As I have stated many times, we will honor ICE detainer requests only if accompanied by an appropriate, legal order. That is consistent with the Constitution, and our values. Today’s announcement attempts to undermine both.” Here is the funding that King County is scheduled to receive — both directly and indirectly — from the U.S. Department of Justice during the 2017-2018 biennium:
  • $1 million to King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention
  • $400,000 to Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget for recidivism/reentry coordinator
  • $90,000 to King County Sheriff’s Office for trauma-informed domestic violence training
  • $1,146,028 to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for firearms cases
  • $250,153 to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for domestic violence cases
  • $454,857 to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for cases involving youth
  • $175,027 to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for victims of crime assistance

Senior Reporter Jack Mayne passed away in December, 2021. In his honor we have created the Jack Mayne Journalism Scholarship.

11 replies on “U.S. Attorney General threatens sanctuary cities like Burien, Seattle”

  1. “To imprison people without judicial process” So when exactly do these non legal hideaways earn the right to be afforded protection under the constitution? Last time I checked the term illegal alien meant just that, illegal. Rightful and legal citizens deserve Federal money, not those who are putting it at risk to score bonus points with the in crowd.

    1. 8 U.S. Code § 1325 – Improper entry by alien
      Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)
      US Code
      prev | next
      (a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
      Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
      (b) Improper time or place; civil penaltiesAny alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of—
      (1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or
      (2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection.
      Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.
      (c) Marriage fraud
      Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both.
      (d) Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud
      Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, or both.
      (June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 8, § 275, 66 Stat. 229; Pub. L. 99–639, § 2(d), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3542; Pub. L. 101–649, title I, § 121(b)(3), title V, § 543(b)(2), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4994, 5059; Pub. L. 102–232, title III, § 306(c)(3), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1752; Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title I, § 105(a), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–556.)

  2. And, your point is? At what point are you willing to provide sanctuary to illegal acts? Your backyard?
    If there is a price for violating federal law, so be it. Correct me if I am wrong but local jurisdictions can’t establish “laws” but they can’t ignore federal laws. Take the marijuana situation. You can pass it statewide but it is still subject to drug tests for an employer.
    Keep it at LEGAL immigrants. Not those who “jump the fence.
    I have st3 stuff to deal with and the county wants me to pay for more of their “do gooder” junk. ST3, increased property taxes, KF proposal for increase for the arts. How much is enough? I still need to pay for the basics.
    I be leaving this area as soon as I can. Truck tabs went from $183, 2016 to $440 for 2017. This is for something I will never use.
    Thank you Seattle voters for what you have cost me.
    I be gone as soon as I can.

    1. I believe you have misinterpreted my comment, no one deserves sanctuary from the law and I certainly feel any city who violates federal law deserves to be punished as illegal is illegal. And you can blame Tim Eyman for that increase, we used to pay appropriate fees in this state until they went away. Now they’re back with a heavy hit because the roads need paying for.

  3. Its really pretty simple: if you take federal money, then the federal govt. has every right to expect that you follow federal laws. Don’t want to follow federal laws? Then you don’t get the money. And regarding Jayapal’s comment that sanctuary cities have lower crime: there is no evidence that the reason for the lower crime is due to sanctuary city status at all. Its funny to see the left suddenly be in favor of states rights – oh the irony.

  4. Legal = a creation of the legislature
    Lawful = comporting to sound reason or fundamental principles ( maxims)
    So, naturally foreigners are not subject to the jurisdiction of any domestic legislature (minus any treaty) since there are seven elements of jurisdiction, only one of them being geographical location. The STATE has a sociopathic need for obedience and will leverage the misconception of popular opinion to achieve obedience.
    “One of the six basic functions of the school is to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority.” Principles of Secondary Education (1918) by Alexander Inglis, Phd, professor of education, Harvard University
    This book is very difficult to find & was written prior to the Rockefeller Foundations’ funding of public libraries.

  5. Wondering why so many people ignore how the King County Law Enforcement have said they operate? Again and again, they state that not asking for legal id better enables them to develop rapport in communities to allow people to come forward with concerns and with information. The King Co. Sheriff’s Dept. does work with the Feds when known law breakers are apprehended.

  6. I think that Sessions is right. States, cities, and counties have no right to allow people
    that are wanted for violating federal laws to live in our communities.

  7. Latest Rasmussen poll reports 65% of people do not want to live in a sanctuary(criminal) city!! Our elected servants better start to think about the average citizens needs and not the needs of criminal illegal aliens!!! I am tired of these scum bag elected official begging for illegal alien votes. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

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