Trump: Sanctuary cities protect 'bad actors,' 'killers'

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  Updated March 20, 2018 at 5:40 PM
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March 20 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump railed against jurisdictions with sanctuary policies during a roundtable on the matter Tuesday, saying they protect criminals.

He met with various members of his administration, law enforcement officials and Republican members of Congress for a discussion at the White House. The administration is attempting to crack down on cities and states that decline to assist federal law enforcement's immigration efforts.

Sanctuary jurisdictions are cities, counties or states that, after arresting an undocumented immigrant for another alleged crime, refuse to continue detaining the person until federal officials can take over custody.

Trump said some of the people protected by sanctuary policies include "bad actors," "predators," "rapists" and "killers."

"We're looking to have safe cities folks," Trump said.

In August, the Justice Department said it would withhold federal grant money to law enforcement agencies with sanctuary policies, a move that has since been challenged and blocked in federal court.

"From the earliest days of his administration, President Trump made it clear he would not stand for lawlessness in the country's immigration system," a White House email said Tuesday.

In addition to local law enforcement officials, Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and multiple Republican lawmakers were expected to attend the roundtable.

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