(CBSNEWS) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned sanctuary cities Friday that “enough is enough,” hours after the Justice Department sent letters to nine sanctuary jurisdictions giving them until June 30 to justify why they are not in violation of federal law by forcing law enforcement to release criminal aliens.
The Justice Department sent the letters to the state of California, as well as the cities of Chicago, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia, and Clark County, Nevada, Cook County, Illinois, Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin — all of which are jurisdictions former President Barack Obama identified as potentially violating the law, Sessions said.
Sessions made the comments in San Diego as he and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly tour the U.S.-Mexico border to determine ways to boost border security.
“Sanctuary jurisdictions put known gang members back on the streets to rejoin the West Side gang in Escondido,” Sessions said while flanked by Kelly and Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. “Just the other day it was reported that a local prosecutor in California went so far as to intentionally lower violent and heinous domestic abuse charges against a repeat offender so that the abuser wouldn’t be deported.”
“Think about the message that sends: If you are an alien and you commit domestic violence, you will get special treatment,” Sessions added. “Prosecutors will charge you with a lesser crime so you can stay in the country. Enough is enough.”