President Trump has denied $3 million in federal aid for “law enforcement” in Los Angeles due to their illegal “sanctuary city” status.
Staying true to his promise of stripping funding away from such sanctuary cities, Trump and AG Jeff Sessions denied a request by L.A. officials to receive federal funding to deal with violence caused by illegal immigrants.
The L.A. Times reports:
This year, L.A. officials applied for more than $3 million in federal funding to help bring the same program to Harvard Park, a South L.A. neighborhood scarred by violence.
The request was denied.
The U.S. Department of Justice hasn’t offered the LAPD an explanation of why the department didn’t receive any of the $98 million in grants recently awarded to scores of law enforcement agencies across the nation. A spokesman for the federal agency declined to comment when asked by The Times last week.
But after the Trump administration’s repeated threats to withhold federal money from cities that don’t cooperate with its immigration crackdown, some LAPD officials said they believe the move was retaliatory — and a troubling sign of what could come.
Steve Soboroff, president of the civilian Police Commission that oversees the LAPD, said that he believes the Justice Department denied the funding request because of the LAPD’s well-publicized, hands-off approach to immigration enforcement. Soboroff said he worries future funding may also be at risk.
“Community policing is what policing’s all about. Militaristic policing, immigrant harassment is not,” he said. “By ignoring that, or prioritizing it beneath their issue of sanctuary cities and cooperation with ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] — the priorities are wrong.”
“If this is the tip of the iceberg, we’re going to set back law enforcement and policing and public safety by decades,” he added.
The LAPD had planned to use the money to hire 25 officers for the community policing program in Harvard Park, one of the city’s deadliest neighborhoods. The roughly half-mile area saw eight homicides in 2016, nearly triple the number from the year before. So far this year, six people have been killed.
“We will defend any undocumented worker who’s going to be deported,” he said flatly in a recent interview. The words are backed up in deed: In December, Los Angeles unveiled an ambitious $10-million fund to provide legal counsel to residents facing deportation.
Los Angeles and Orange counties, after all, are home to 1 million undocumented immigrants, or nearly 10% of all undocumented immigrants nationwide. Los Angeles is also one of the major cities that has been targeted by ICE raids in the aftermath of the election.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell has said he’s afraid of losing $132 Million over the next three years because of his county’s harboring of illegal aliens. Citing an August LA Daily News article:
On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent letters to four cities — including two in California — threatening to deny federal crime-fighting aid if the cities don’t step up efforts to help detain and deport people living in the country illegally.
The targeted cities — which have all struggled with crime — are Stockton, San Bernardino, Baltimore and Albuquerque, New Mexico. All expressed interest in the Justice Department’s new Public Safety Partnership, federal officials said. The program provides assistance from federal agents, analysts and technology to find solutions to crime.
While the Justice Department did not call out any communities in L.A. County in its latest move to punish so-called sanctuary cities, McDonnell has said the county’s limited cooperation with federal immigration officers strikes a necessary balance between public safety and public trust.
The bulk of federal grant funds that McDonnell fears could ultimately be in question — $105 million of the $132 million — would come from DHS for the continued development of a system to enhance radio and broadband communication for police, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency responders in the county.
You can contact mayor Garcetti at (213) 978-0600 and firstname.lastname@example.org
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