GOP chairman says sanctuary cities to face punishment in 2016

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The House Republican in charge of writing the Justice Department’s budget vowed Monday that this will be the year Congress punishes sanctuary cities, insisting he’ll use his powers as chairman to make the Obama administration strip grant money from localities that refuse to cooperate with immigration agents.

Rep. John Culberson, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department, warned Attorney General Loretta Lynch that if she doesn’t step quickly to shut down sanctuary cities, he will use existing powers to prevent her from shifting money around within the 2016 budget.

The Texas Republican said federal law already requires local governments to cooperate with immigration agents, and those that refuse are breaking the law — and don’t deserve federal funds.

“This is a complicated problem with a simple solution. State and local law enforcement agencies should not receive federal law enforcement grant money unless they are in compliance with federal law,” he said in a statement.

His vow comes after a year of tragic consequences from sanctuary cities, including the July slaying of Kathryn Steinle, a 32-year-old woman killed while walking the San Francisco waterfront with her father. Authorities have charged an illegal immigrant who’d been deported five times before, but who’d been released onto the streets by the local sheriff in compliance with his policy of refusing to cooperate with immigration agents.
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