Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles has vowed to push back against the Donald Trump administration's plans to rescind federal funding from jurisdictions that refuse to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
These jurisdiction have been given the nickname "sanctuary cities."
On Mar. 27, Garcetti asserted that Los Angeles would contest the Trump administration if the city loses federal funding for law enforcement.
"We will fight to protect the safety and dignity of all Angelenos, and we will work closely with our representatives in Congress to make sure that Los Angeles does not go without federal resources that help protect millions of people every day," Garcetti said, according to Los Angeles Daily News.
Earlier that day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced from the White House that his U.S. Department of Justice would enforce a 2016 rule to deny federal grants for law enforcement to jurisdictions that do not refer any undocumented immigrants detained by local police to immigration officials.
"I urge our nation's states and cities to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and to rethink these policies," Sessions said, according to The Washington Post. "Such policies make their cities and states less safe, and put them at risk of losing valuable federal dollars.
Noting that the DOJ would be giving more than $4.1 billion in federal grants across the country within the current fiscal year, Sessions stated that his department would retroactively take back any funding from jurisdictions that do not fully cooperate with ICE officials.
The Trump administration was not implementing a new policy, but instead asserting that it would fully enforce a rule from the Barack Obama administration that had been instituted in 2016. It has not been firmly established how a city could violate this federal rule, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Los Angeles law enforcement does not arrest residents for their immigration status and does not ask those under arrest for proof of citizenship. The city does refer undocumented immigrants who have committed repeat misdemeanor offenses or a felony to federal officials.
On Mar. 21, Garcetti asserted that Los Angeles' law enforcement policies ensure that local police do not behave as immigration officials.
"LAPD has never participated in programs that deputize local law enforcement to act as immigration agents, and on my watch they never will," Garcetti said.
Los Angeles is host to an estimated 1 million undocumented immigrants, LA Weekly reports.