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AG Sessions: DOJ Will Require Federal Immigration Law Compliance for Federal Grants

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a White House press briefing on Monday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will require all states and cities to comply with with federal immigration laws in order to receive DOJ grants.

“Today, I’m urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws, including 8 U.S.C. Section 1373,” Sessions told reporters.

“Moreover, the Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for Department of Justice grants to certify compliance with 1373 as a condition of receiving those awards,” Sessions continued.

Sessions also said that existing grant awards could be eliminated due to municipalities’ failure to comply with federal immigration law, referencing the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) guidance. “Failure to remedy violations could result in withholding grants, termination of grants, and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants.”

Going even further, Sessions promised that the DOJ would use “all lawful steps” to recoup monetary awards given in previous grants.

The law referenced by Sessions, 8 U.S.C. Section 1373, prohibits state and local governments from interfering in information sharing between immigration enforcement agencies and local law enforcement.