Sharyl: Are sanctuary cities legal?
Rep John Culberson: No. They are in violation of federal law because federal law requires state and local jurisdictions can’t interfere in any way with sharing information about criminal illegal aliens in their custody; in any way means you must cooperate 100% of the time. 99 out of 100 of sharing information is not enough. Kate Steinle’s murderer would have been deported immediately or San Francisco would lose all of their federal grant money, that’s now the rule under my subcommittee
Sharyl: What is your role in the sanctuary city debate?
Rep John Culberson: I’m the Chairman for the subcommittee that is in charge of all the funding for the Department of Justice, so I am in essence the CFO of the Department of Justice and I made it clear as the new chairman that the rule is if you want federal money follow federal law. I found a law that’s crystal clear and unambiguous and I found a way to enforce it using the power of the purse, which is very persuasive, the authority that I have as subcommittee chairman, I’ve got a lot of tools that I can bring to pressure these agencies that it was actually done last July and then I had the top 10 sanctuary jurisdictions certified as violating federal law, so they can have their money turned off immediately.
Sharyl: What kind of things does this federal money go towards in these jurisdictions?
Rep John Culberson: These are law enforcement grants for the law enforcement of the country and state, the cost of incarcerating illegal aliens in custody, which is particularly galling that these sanctuary jurisdictions hide and protect criminal aliens in their jails from being deported, but they still have to ask for federal money for housing the criminal alien. So that money is cut off. This is also money for the cops program that Bill Clinton created years ago.
Sharyl: We spoke to a sanctuary city official and his position was “why would the federal government want to retaliate against the poor citizens in my community who benefit from this money in grants and in some cases to help the poor and the elderly?”
Rep John Culberson: It’s actually his decision, it’s the local government’s decision, this is Rahm Emanuel’s decision, this is not my decision. This is very simple. If you want federal money, follow federal law.
Sharyl: You make it sound very cut and dry, but some of these jurisdictions have promised a fight...are you prepared for a show down?
Rep John Culberson: It’s real easy, their money disappears. There’s no fight, their money is gone.