Trump Would End Aid to Jail Undocumented Immigrants

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President Trump proposed a massive $4.8 billion increase in spending yesterday to combat illegal immigration, but his plan includes a cut that stuns some local law enforcement officials: Department of Justice grants that help pay for jailing undocumented immigrants, reports USA Today. Throughout his campaign, Trump said he would help local communities enforce immigration laws and vowed to punish those that didn’t (“sanctuary cities”) by withholding federal funds. Yet his budget would eliminate the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which would deny aid to localities that help enforce his ramped-up deportation program. The move would save the federal government $210 million this year.

That proposal came as a shock to officials in Miami-Dade County, which became the first jurisdiction to shed its “sanctuary city” status by complying with Trump’s immigration authorities. Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered his jail to honor all requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to detain undocumented immigrants, a controversial move that led to sweeping protests in a county where a majority of residents are foreign-born. “We are concerned,” said Michael Hernandez, a spokesman for the mayor. “We’ve been a good partner with federal immigration authorities. We expect them to be good partners with us.” The grants reimburse local jails for detaining for at least four days undocumented immigrants who committed one felony or two misdemeanors. Since 2000, the program has provided aid to hundreds of local jails. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the budget proposes other ways to help local officials. “We increased the amount of money for detention facilities for folks who come into the country illegally,” he said, referring to a $1.5 billion increase in spending to expand federal detention facilities, transportation and deportation of undocumented immigrants. Local officials said none of that new money will help pay for all the undocumented immigrants who end up in their jails.

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