President Donald Trump ordered the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday to create a “truly nationalistic” division of local police departments.
Trump announced the new plan, which will focus on “sanctuary jurisdictions” that fail to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.
The order directs the department to “take appropriate actions to deter, prosecute, and otherwise punish” “sanctuaries” that don’t comply with federal law.
“If sanctuary jurisdictions harbor illegal aliens, the federal government has the right and the obligation to hold them accountable for their criminal acts,” Trump said in a statement.
The new division will be called the National Sanctuary Police Force.
“We must not allow a sanctuary city to continue to harbor illegal immigrants, who pose a grave threat to the safety of the American people,” Trump added.
Trump’s announcement came hours after a group of cities and counties in Texas and Arizona passed resolutions that would bar local governments from providing federal funding to sanctuary cities, a move that critics called a bid to undermine the rule of law and impose unconstitutional limits on local law enforcement. “
These cities should immediately cease any cooperation with immigration enforcement and demand their cooperation with federal authorities on all of the above, including the construction of a new border wall and the removal of illegal aliens.”
Trump’s announcement came hours after a group of cities and counties in Texas and Arizona passed resolutions that would bar local governments from providing federal funding to sanctuary cities, a move that critics called a bid to undermine the rule of law and impose unconstitutional limits on local law enforcement.
Trump’s order also seeks to make it easier for local officials to be fired for violating federal immigration law.
The federal government’s “sanctions and detentions” on sanctuary jurisdictions would include a prohibition on federal funds.
It would also allow local governments to be fined or jailed for violating immigration laws.
The president said he is taking steps to “dismantle the entire sanctuary city racket,” which he called “criminal activity.”
The department also said it will not prosecute the people who are found in local jurisdictions that fail “to comply with immigration law.”
The order does not make any mention of sanctuary cities in its new “sanctioned cities” initiative.
It also does not address how Trump plans to punish sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to comply with the law.
Trump has frequently railed against sanctuary cities and other “sanity cities” in recent months, citing them as a “source of illegals” that have sent crime to the United States.
Trump has also claimed that the country is in “the biggest mass-deportation in the history of the world.”
Trump has also sought to crack down on the “sanitizing” of the immigration system, saying it was creating “an entire political class of people” that had no idea how to run a nation.