Connecting state and local government leaders
The document would significantly ramp up immigration enforcement, however.
Sanctuary cities only earned one, brief mention among a list of “new priorities” in President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposal, which allots $214 million in additional spending for immigration enforcement.
With that money, the U.S. Department of Justice would hire 75 immigration judge teams, bringing the total to 449.
Another $84 million is designated to handle expected increases in the federal detainee population under the Trump administration.
“Further, DOJ will take steps to mitigate the risk that sanctuary jurisdictions pose to public safety,” reads the budget document.
Other law enforcement investments include $188 million to combat violent and gun-related crime, transnational criminal organizations and drug traffickers, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions has previously argued sanctuary cities aid.
The news comes one day after Sessions narrowly defined sanctuary cities, making it harder to withhold federal funding from them without changing grant language.
About $300 million would go toward recruiting, hiring and training 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 new Immigration & Customs Enforcement personnel to stop undocumented immigrants crossing the border and to find and remove those who already have entered the U.S.
Among the Office of Justice Programs, a mayoral favorite Community Oriented Policing Services grants, once threatened with cuts, would actually receive a $17 million boost to $208 million.
Sessions plans to confront the national opioid epidemic with a new war on drugs that prioritizes arrests and incarceration ahead of addiction treatment shown to reduce recidivism. For that, Trump would give Sessions $103 million. The budget does maintain $500 million for the State Response to the Opioid Abuse Crisis Account, established in 2016 by the 21st Century Cures Act.
In total, DOJ would receive $27.7 billion—down 3.8 percent from an estimated $28.8 billion in 2017. By contrast, Homeland Security would receive $44.1 billion—up 6.8 percent from $41.3 billion in 2017.
So what’s getting cut? Trump would see the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which reimburses states and localities for holding undocumented immigrants on the federal government’s behalf, eliminated. California, Florida, New York and Texas receive more than two-thirds of the available funds.
“The Administration proposes to instead invest in border enforcement and border security initiatives that will more effectively address the public safety threats posed by criminal aliens,” reads the document.
An additional cut of $888 million in prison construction funding, which will be redirected toward immigration and violent crime enforcement, is proposed. The budget cites freed up prison capacity due to a decline of 30,000 inmates since 2013 under the Obama administration, as well as the renewed use of privately-operated contract facilities.
“One of the Justice Department’s top priorities is to protect the United States from threats to our national security both foreign and domestic,” Sessions said in a budget statement. “The Department will enforce our laws and put criminals behind bars.”
Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.
NEXT STORY: New Series: The Geography of Disaster Risk and Resiliency in America