Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions can be expected to take a hardline stance on immigration if confirmed as attorney general.
In the Senate, he led the effort to cut federal funding to “sanctuary cities” that refuse to arrest immigrants living in this country illegally.
A showdown is brewing.
Students across the country are taking a stand for undocumented immigrants. During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump promised to go after so-called “sanctuary cities” he says give the undocumented a free pass. Mr. Trump often mentioned the killing of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco. An illegal immigrant deported five times is accused of her murder.
“We will cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities,” Mr. Trump said. “We will stop illegal immigration.”
More than 300 U.S. cities and counties limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. Several mayors, all Democrats, plan to defy President-elect Trump.
“It always will be a sanctuary city,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “We are not going to sacrifice a half a million people who live amongst us.”
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck recently made headlines when he said it’s not his department’s job to help deport people.
CBS News asked Beck why he wouldn’t cooperate with efforts to remove people who are here illegally if his job is to enforce the law and he responded by saying: “It is not the primary job of local law enforcement to enforce civil or federal laws. I think it would break down the connections that we have with immigrant communities.”
Sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate could lose billions of dollars in federal funding. Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser could lose 20 percent of her budget, she said.
“His immigration stance could really make his new hometown less safe,” Bowser said.
Beck said that if his officers become an immigration force they will lose trust of immigrant communities. The fear is that people will stop reporting crimes or cooperating with investigators.