Oregon's sanctuary policies set to cost taxpayers $2 million in lost funding

Article date: 
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Article category: 
Oregon Issues
Article Body: 

Sanctuary jurisdictions in Oregon currently at risk of losing funding, and amounts at risk:

Multnomah County - $173,088

Oregon Criminal Justice Commission - $2,080,04

DOJ Targets More Sanctuaries

By Jessica Vaughan, Center for Immigration Studies, November 16, 2017

Yesterday DOJ sent a letter to 29 sanctuary jurisdictions that received law enforcement grants under the Byrne/Justice Assistance Grants program in 2016, warning them that they appear to be in violation of federal law and may have to repay the funds. In addition, they could be barred from receiving funds in 2017. Collectively, these jurisdictions received more than $16.7 million last year.

Our sanctuary cities maps are updated to reflect this development.

Under rules imposed in 2016 by previous Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the insistence of House appropriator John Culberson (R-Texas), all applicants for these grants must attest that they are in compliance with all federal laws, especially including 8 USC 1373. That law, passed in 1996, says that no state or local government can have a policy that in any way restricts communication or exchange of information about immigration status between local officials and federal immigration authorities.

Lynch's DOJ initiated an investigation into 10 sanctuaries that received $96.1 million from two DOJ funding programs in 2016. New Attorney General Jeff Sessions continued the process of notifying the jurisdictions, allowing them time to change their policies, and determining if they still qualify for the grants.  …

Rather than change, several of the sanctuaries have filed lawsuits to try to force DOJ to back off. So far, three judges have ruled in favor of the sanctuaries, in northern California, Chicago, and, most recently, Philadelphia. All of the judges found that, despite the sanctuaries' claims that DOJ was overstepping its authority and attempting to illegally coerce them to cooperate, it was permissible for DOJ to withhold funds based on illegal sanctuary policies. Nevertheless, all of the judges found other reasons to block DOJ from actually doing it. For example, the Philadelphia judge decided that Philadelphia was not a sanctuary. As a result of the litigation, DOJ has had to delay disbursing all of the 2017 grants. ...


See the list of sanctuary jurisdictions affected and read the full report here.