HOUSTON, Texas – The Trump Administration will be able to “flip the switch” on federal funding to the nation’s top-ten sanctuary jurisdictions on day one, says U.S. Representative John Culberson (R-TX).
Speaking to a group of supporters in Houston this week, Culberson said existing law allows the Trump Administration to not only stop future funding to these jurisdictions, but actually take back past funding. Culberson, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, said he has briefed members of the Trump transition team about the report from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Inspector General (OIG) that details the defunding process.
Using the “power of the purse” entrusted to Congress, Culberson told the gathered supporters he has been able to “step on the air hose” of the DOJ and force the certification of ten sanctuary jurisdictions as not being in compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, an existing law that requires 100 percent cooperation from local and state jurisdictions in order to receive DOJ grant funding.
The report from the OIG report states:
Section 1373 states in relevant part:
(a) In General. Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any· government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status,
lawful or unlawful, of any individual.
(b) Additional authority of government entities. Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, no person or agency may prohibit, or in any way restrict, a Federal, State, or local government entity from doing any of the following with respect to information regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual:
( 1) Sending such information to, or requesting or receiving such information from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
(2) Maintaining such information.
(3) Exchanging such information with any other Federal, State, or local government entity.
The report continues, explaining the legislative intent of the law to be, “to prevent any State or local law, ordinance, executive order, policy, constitutional provision, or decision of any Federal or State court that prohibits or in any way restricts any communication between State and local officials and the INS.”
“99 percent is not good enough,” Culberson stated. “These jurisdictions must cooperate 100 percent in order to qualify for these DOJ grants. They must choose between protecting illegal aliens and receiving federal funds.”
The Texas congressman has effectively used the congressional power of the appropriations committee to force the Obama Administration’s DOJ to take the action of certifying ten jurisdictions as not being in compliance. The result is, those jurisdictions have been notified they must change their policies or they will not be eligible for the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) grants.
Those jurisdictions certified as not being in compliance are:
- The State of Connecticut
- The State of California
- Orleans Parish, Louisiana
- New York City
- Cook County, Illinois
- Miami-Dade County, Florida
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Clark County, Nevada
The DOJ states these jurisdictions received 65 percent of the awards by the OJP in FY2015 through March 2016.
“It is not just future funds that are at risk for these sanctuary jurisdictions,” the chairman stated. “The DOJ can force them to reimburse funds received from these grant programs in the past. This means, the State of California could be forced to repay the more than $3 billion in grants received over the past 10 years.”
Culberson said that other committee chairmen have approached him following his success with “standing on the air hose” of the DOJ. He said he has reviewed the process with them and the same type of pressure can be applied for funding outside of the DOJ by other agencies.
The table is set for the new Attorney General to defund these ten sanctuary jurisdictions because of Culberson’s work.
“The timing on this action by the DOJ is perfect,” Culberson told Breitbart Texas in November. “The new administration can go right to work to force these jurisdictions to comply or simply choose to stop receiving federal money.”