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California Senate Leader Denounces Plan to Cut Funding From ‘Sanctuary Cities’ as ‘Nothing Short of Blackmail’

California Senate leader Kevin de León on Monday called U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions’ move to cut federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities “nothing short of blackmail.”

In a statement, De León (D-Los Angeles) said Sessions and the Trump administration “stuck to alternative facts” when describing immigrants and sanctuary counties and cities, where local policies limit the cooperation of law enforcement agencies with federal authorities on immigration laws.

“Instead of making us safer, the Trump administration is spreading fear and promoting race-based scapegoating,” he said. “Their gun-to-the-head method to force resistant cities and counties to participate in Trump’s inhumane and counterproductive mass-deportation is unconstitutional and will fail.”

De León was responding to an earlier announcement made by Sessions at a White House press briefing. Sessions urged all states and local jurisdictions to comply with federal immigration laws and said it would be a condition for receiving federal grants.

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