Press Releases

Culberson Pledges to Use Power of the Purse to Pressure Department of Justice to Block Federal Law Enforcement Grants to Sanctuary Cities

Demands Changes to Federal Grant Process

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Washington, February 1, 2016 | comments

Washington, D.C. — Today, Representative John Culberson (TX-07) released the following statement after writing Attorney General Loretta Lynch a letter expressing his opposition to sending Federal funding to sanctuary cities. He urged the Attorney General to change the Federal grant process so that no additional Department of Justice (DOJ) funding is provided to jurisdictions that either refuse to honor Federal detainers, harbor illegal aliens, or refuse to share information about criminal illegal aliens with federal authorities.

“Sanctuary city policies across the country prevent State and local law enforcement from notifying the Department of Homeland Security when an illegal alien is released from their custody. This is unacceptable, and it allows thousands of criminal aliens to remain on the streets. The senseless, preventable deaths which have occurred as a direct result of these policies include Kate Steinle who was shot and killed in San Francisco by a seven-time convicted felon and five-time deportee who was released onto the streets of San Francisco due to their reckless and illegal sanctuary policy. Briana Valle was murdered after being shot twice in the head by an illegal alien after he was released from a Cook County, IL jail as a result of their sanctuary policy. Marilyn Pharis, a USAF veteran was brutally assaulted and murdered by illegal aliens in Santa Maria, CA. These are just a few tragic examples of innocent Americans murdered by criminal aliens who are allowed to remain free and harbored by jurisdictions that have sanctuary policies.

“As the new chairman of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I have a responsibility to ensure, to the best of my ability, that our hard earned tax dollars are only spent for lawful purposes. I will use every tool at my disposal to enforce existing Federal law.

“I’ve asked Attorney General Lynch to take specific actions to address this issue. I hope the Attorney General will do the right thing here so that I am not compelled to object to relevant portions of the Department’s spending plan and reprogramming requests. Any refusal by the Department to comply with these reasonable and timely requests will factor heavily in my consideration of their 2017 budget requests, and whether or not I will include language in the fiscal year 2017 CJS appropriations bill prohibiting the award of law enforcement grants to jurisdictions that harbor illegal aliens. I will include language in this year’s bill requiring the DOJ to amend the application process for Byrne JAG, COPS, and SCAAP grants so that grantees must certify under oath that they are in compliance with section 1373 of title 8 of the United States Code.  

“This is a complicated problem with a simple solution.

“State and local law enforcement agencies should not receive Federal law enforcement grant money unless they are in compliance with Federal law.”

Read the full text of Rep. Culberson’s letter here.

Details on the current law provisions which authorize Rep. Culberson to take this action are available here.

The non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies has a listing of sanctuary jurisdictions they have identified posted on their website here.

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