The Hill ^ | June 24, 2017 | Brandon Carter
The Wall Street Journal reports that the DOJ is developing legal strategies to cancel out sanctuary cities across the country. The goal for DOJ would be to effectively force cities to comply with federal officials, according to the report.
A senior DOJ attorney told the newspaper that the department is pursuing several different options. One option would see Justice officials argue that local police departments refusing to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement illegally pre-empts federal law.
Another would argue that municipalities refusing to comply with ICE are discriminating against ICE because those cities honor requests from other federal agencies, like the FBI.
The DOJ source also said that the federal government is seeking friendly court circuits to present cases against sanctuary cities, and expressed hope that as Trump fills more vacancies on federal courts, the DOJ’s chances of securing a legal victory will improve, according to the Journal.
Trump and his Justice Department have clashed with sanctuary cities since the beginning of his presidency. His first budget proposal included several changes to immigration law that would crack down on sanctuary cities.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions also announced in March that local governments seeking DOJ grants would not be able to receive those grants if they are a sanctuary city.