States that have cities with “sanctuary” status for illegal immigrants are looking at a potentially huge loss of federal funding. Tens of millions of dollars are at stake, a new study reveals.
A report that investigates the impact of President Trump’s executive order to support immigration enforcement and punish local governments by denying federal funds for hundreds of sanctuary cities reveals just how much money is involved.
A “sanctuary jurisdiction” is defined as a government that doesn’t comply with federal immigration enforcement.
The report, titled, “How Much Funding for Sanctuary Jurisdictions Could Be at Risk,” was released by the Center for American Progress National Immigration Law Center and American Immigration Lawyers. It includes calculations for how much funding is at stake. Using data from Republican lawmakers’ earlier efforts to defund sanctuary cities, the investigation looks at the impact on California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
California stands to lose as much as $239.5 million if its cities don’t comply, while New York could lose $191.1 million. Illinois stands to lose $91.3 million, with Pennsylvania looking at a $65.2 million loss and Maryland $35 million.
According to Fox News, the report identifies these funding sources that could be impacted:
- Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant: “helps states and localities pay for a range of criminal justice needs.”
- U.S. Economic Development Administration grant: “assists economically distressed areas with job creation and public works projects.”
- State Criminal Alien Assistance Program: “reimburses localities for costs associated with detaining immigrants.”
- Community Development Block Grant program: “helps fund a range of housing, infrastructure, and business development projects.”
- The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services: “provides money for law enforcement agencies to hire additional community policing officers.”
Another report published last month by the nonprofit organization Open the Books, titled “Federal Funding of America’s Sanctuary Cities,” looks at the cities that would be affected by Trump’s executive order.
Adam Andrzejewski, founder, and CEO of Open the Books and author of the study, told The Daily Signal: “When the order was issued, people didn’t know what was at stake. Our study found the entire universe of money at stake is up to $27 billion. The courts will rule what types of funding [for sanctuary cities] can constitutionally be withheld, but it’s an open question right now.”
This report further digs into the categories of federal grants for the 106 sanctuary cities it covers, for example, showing the detail of the almost $7.6 billion federal funds New York City received in funding in 2016. The information reveals how this was distributed among a number of categories, including the Board of Education, Housing Authority, Health Department, and Fire and Police Departments, among other categories.
Andrzejewski did note that the study is limited because Trump’s executive order doesn’t specify the types of funding that would be withheld from sanctuary cities.
Cardinal Brown, of the Bipartisan Policy Center, told The Daily Signal that she expects lawsuits, without a doubt, noting, “It is a 100 percent guarantee there will be lawsuits, and a lot of those questions over funding will be decided in court.”