Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement in response to Attorney General Sessions promising to withhold Department of Justice funding to sanctuary cities:
“Today Attorney General Sessions took aim at New York City and hundreds of other municipalities across the country by threatening to cut off Justice Department funding to any city that refuses to go along with the Trump Administration’s outrageous deportation policies. This is political hostage taking: fall in line with the White House, or AG Sessions will strip the NYPD and other state and local law enforcement agencies of billions in funding. Denying state and local agencies access to these Justice Department grants would have a devastating impact, jeopardizing public safety for New Yorkers and millions of other Americans who live in sanctuary jurisdictions across the country. This is particularly shocking given that New York City is already stuck with a bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars a day just to secure Trump Tower. Now the White House wants to put an even bigger burden on the NYPD. If DOJ refuses to support New York’s Finest, then maybe they should be responsible for paying to secure the first family.
“New York is a sanctuary city because New Yorkers understand how important immigrants are to the fabric of America. And while sanctuary city policies are about American values, they’re also about ensuring public safety by letting undocumented people feel safe reporting crimes to police. Punishing a city that stands in solidarity with its immigrant community and protects its citizens is shameful and morally abhorrent. Mr. Sessions—who shouldn’t even be AG due to his untruthful confirmation testimony—is wrong to push this dangerous maneuver, and I intend to fight it every step of the way.”