Joe Biden Reverses Sanctuary City Ban

( President Joe Biden’s administration has repealed yet another staple of former President Donald Trump’s time in the White House.

This week, the Department of Justice repealed a Trump-era policy that sought to punish jurisdictions that didn’t cooperate with federal immigration investigations. The so-called sanctuary cities were to be prohibited from receiving federal grants that many jurisdictions use for battling criminal justice.

Those cities and towns that chose not to cooperate with officers from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement were prohibited from receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in total grant funding.

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in 2017 that the grant funding would be contingent on the jurisdiction allowing federal immigration authorities to speak to detainees in local jails. The officials wanted to do this to inquire about their immigration status.

Sessions also said the jurisdictions would need to give the federal government notice of 48 hours in advance before they released an inmate that ICE had interest in.

The requirement was just one of the Trump administration’s many efforts to protect the United States from illegal immigration, and to punish those who were breaking the law.

Not surprisingly, the cities and other smaller jurisdictions who didn’t want to cooperate with ICE officials were not happy with Trump’s decision. That only resulted in the Trump administration pushing for more strict enforcement of immigration policies, and threats of withholding other funding and programs if local jurisdictions wouldn’t cooperate.

The Biden administration, however, has taken quite the opposite approach. The president’s first move on the topic was asking the Supreme Court to dismiss pending cases that concerned these sanctuary cities.

In March, the Biden DOJ sent letters to the high court saying they had come to an agreement with all parties involved in the three pending cases. As such, they asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the cases as moot.

Those three cases were originally brought by some of the sanctuary city jurisdictions. To that point, the challengers had won two of the lower-court rulings, while the Trump DOJ won one.

When the Biden DOJ dismissed the cases in March, many local sanctuary cities celebrated. Letitia James, the Democratic attorney general of New York, for example, said local law enforcement agencies shouldn’t have their decisions subject to overrides by federal government entities.

She said at the time:

“We’re pleased that despite the Trump administration’s efforts to exact revenge on cities and states through vindictive policies and continued litigation that we were able to work with the Biden administration to dismiss this case in the Supreme Court. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration to ensure state and localities never have to choose between protecting their autonomy and protecting the public’s safety.”

Now, the Biden DOJ is taking all of this one step further by re-instituting the federal grants for sanctuary cities. It’s another example of how the new progressive White House is turning a blind eye to illegal immigration, while at the same time trying to figure out how to protect our country’s borders.