NJ Politics Digest: Dems Say Trump Is Following Through on Sanctuary Cities Threat

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had warned that sanctuary cities and states that don't cooperate with federal immigration efforts would stand to lose federal grant revenue.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had warned that sanctuary cities and states that don’t cooperate with federal immigration efforts would stand to lose federal grant revenue. Now, Democratic lawmakers say the Trump administration is following through on that threat.

Congressmen Bill Pascrell Jr., Frank Pallone Jr., and Donald Payne Jr. are accusing the administration of playing politics by withholding $6 million in grants that the state and municipalities should receive through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants program.

“No one should ever play politics with our law enforcement, but this is exactly what Donald Trump and [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions are doing,” Pascrell said during a press conference on the matter, according to NJ.com.

The money is used to pay for training, personnel and equipment to fight crime and terrorism, according to the NJ.com report. The state was to get $4 million, and 41 municipalities were to split $2 million.

New Jersey and five other states are suing to force the Justice Department to release the funds.

A Justice Department spokesman told NJ.com that payment of the funds was delayed due to a lawsuit brought by the city of Chicago. Last month the Justice Department announced it would be distributing the money “to jurisdictions that share the department’s commitment to keeping criminal aliens off our streets and our law abiding citizens safe,” according to the report.

Quote of the Day: “All of these variables make the long-term outlook for marijuana tax revenue hazy at best.” — A report by the the Pew Charitable Trust on the use of sin taxes in state budgets.

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