President Donald Trump has announced his administration will “work to end sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
The move came as Trump’s administration pushed to expand the use of drones for police and military surveillance in cities across the country.
“I am announcing that the Department of Justice will continue to aggressively enforce federal law against sanctuary cities,” Trump said in a statement.
“Our goal is to secure our borders, keep the American people safe, and provide them with the tools they need to enforce our laws.”
Trump said he’s instructed the Department to “immediately and aggressively enforce the law” against cities that fail to comply.
“We are taking on this problem head-on.
We will continue with enforcement, which includes targeting sanctuary cities, and will aggressively enforce our immigration laws, including by using all lawful tools at our disposal,” he said.
“If any city, county, or other entity does not fully cooperate with the federal government, we will aggressively pursue them with federal resources.
These are not just legal challenges; they are also national security challenges.”
Trump’s directive, first reported by The Hill, comes on the heels of an executive order signed on Thursday by the president that requires federal contractors to identify and report to the Department for the first time a “burden” they place on federal workers and taxpayers.
That order, which is not subject to judicial review, states that the federal workforce must report any “significant burden” on federal taxpayers.
“It’s very important that we keep our workers safe,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday.
“The American people need us to be more vigilant.”
The move comes after Trump’s first week in office.
The president’s directive came as his administration pushed aggressively to expand use of drone surveillance in a number of cities across America, including Los Angeles and Chicago.
The first such move by the Trump administration occurred in June, when the president ordered the military to deploy Predator drones to New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles in an effort to combat the spread of “lone wolf” terrorists.
That move has since been reversed, with the Department issuing a statement on Thursday clarifying that the Predator drones were “not intended to be used as a tool to target individuals.”