On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a warning to sanctuary cities that are harboring illegal aliens. He said that the central government would withhold funding from the cities if they failed to comply with immigration agencies in the enforcement of immigration law. So, just how much money do sanctuary cities stand to lose by failing to comply with the law? It’s a lot, nearly $27 billion!
Keep in mind that President Donald Trump issued an executive order on January 25, 2017 to deny federal funds to sanctuary cities who would not comply with immigration law. We have a pretty good idea on the amount of money that would be withheld if the Trump administration would make good on it’s threat.
According to OpenTheBooks.com, in FY2016, nearly $27 billion went to 106 sanctuary cities in the united States. The total was $26.741 billion.
“Federal Funding of America’s Sanctuary Cites” details ten takeaways from the assessment report:
- $26.741 billion in annual federal grants and direct payments flowed into America’s 106 sanctuary cities (FY2016).
- On average, the cost of lost federal funding for a family of four residing in one of the 106 sanctuary cities is $1,810 – or $454 per person. A total population of 46.2 million residents live in the 106 sanctuary cities according to census data.
- Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois governments received the highest amount of federal funding per resident and, therefore, have the most to lose by maintaining their sanctuary status.Washington, D.C. municipal government received the highest amount of federal funding on a per capita basis: $3,228 per person; $12,912 per family of four; or $2.09 billion total. The City of Chicago, IL received the second highest amount of federal funding on a per capita basis: $1,942 per person; $7,768 per family of four; or $5.3 billion total.
- In cities with populations of 100,000 and above, the communities with the least per capita federal dollars ‘at risk’ are St. Paul, Minnesota ($47 per person, $14.2 million total); Downey, California ($36 per person, $4.2 million total) and Miami, Florida ($67 per person, $29.7 million total).
- $15.983 billion in federal funds flowed into just twelve major American cities where 1 in 5 illegal entrants reside (FY2016).
- Department of Justice grants to law enforcement – i.e. city police departments – totaled $543.97 million (FY2016). Typically, this funding was only a small percentage of the local law enforcement budgets.
- $4.23 billion in federal funding of the 106 sanctuary cities flowed via the ‘direct payment’ type. These payments funded municipal services such as housing, education, community development, and schools.
- $21.5 billion in federal funding of the 106 sanctuary cities flowed via the ‘grant’ payment mechanism. These payments funded local police and fire departments, schools, housing, and city services.
- In Los Angeles, fully 1 in 5 city residents (22-percent) are illegal entrants. However, the amount of federal funding amounts to only $126 per resident; $504 per family of four; or $502.5 million total.
- In Newark, New Jersey, 19-percent of city residents are undocumented entrants. However, the amount of federal funding amounts to $733 per resident; $2,932 per family of four; or $206.7 million.
Here is a map of the sanctuary cities throughout the US.
Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of OpenTheBooks.com said, “Mayors defending their sanctuary city status by refusing to comply with federal law are essentially imposing a defiance tax on local residents. On average, this tax amounts to $500 per man, woman and child. Major cities like Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago have the most to lose, and nearly $27 billion is at stake across the country.”
We have seen some cities reverse their sanctuary cities policies. For instance, Miami-Dade formally dropped its status as a sanctuary for illegal immigrants in February. County commissioners voted 9-3 to uphold an order from Mayor Carlos Gimenez that local authorities cooperate with federal immigration officials, in accordance with the law, and refuse to provide arrested illegal immigrants sanctuary.
However, there are still some cities that remain defiant. Following Sessions warnings, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a statement in which he said, “Despite what Attorney General Sessions implied this afternoon, state and local governments and law enforcement have broad authority under the Constitution to not participate in federal immigration enforcement.”
“As my office’s legal guidance makes clear, President Trump lacks the constitutional authority to broadly cut off funding to states and cities just because they have lawfully acted to protect immigrant families,” Schneiderman added. “Public safety depends on trust between law enforcement and those they bravely serve; yet, again and again, President Trump’s draconian policies only serve to undercut that trust.
“My office will continue to ensure local governments have the tools they need to legally protect their immigrant communities – and we won’t stop fighting to beat back President Trump’s un-American immigration policies,” Schneiderman continued.
Un-American immigration policies? Congress was given authority concerning legislation regarding immigration. Isn’t Trump just seeking to follow the law, unlike Communist run cities like New York City?