U. S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions today warned states and cities, such as Evanston and Chicago, that their desire to be “sanctuary cities” to illegal immigrants could make them less safe and put them at risk of losing valuable federal dollars.

Sessions made his remarks to reporters at the daily briefing Monday in the White House newsroom.

Sanctuary city policies, Session declared, “make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on our streets.”


The Evanston ordinance, while it bars police from holding a person solely on the belief that the person is not legally present in the country, or is based on an administrative warrant or immigration detainer based solely on a violation of a civil immigration law, it does not apply to someone convicted of a felony, has felony charges pending, or has been identified as a known gang member.

Sessions warned that an executive order by President Trump states that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with the law “are not eligible to receive federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the attorney general or the secretary (of Homeland Security).

Sessions declared that “the American people want and deserve a lawful immigrations system that keeps us safe and serves our national interest. This expectation is reasonable, and our government  has a duty to meet it. And we will meet it.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. People of Evanston, do not

    People of Evanston, do not worry. If we lose any tax dollars or any grants because of our laws, the city council will dig into their own pockets to make things right. They will not expect the citizens of Evanston to pay for their mistaken belief on the election outcome.

    1. Do we know?

      Do we know, or, given Evanston sanctuary policies, can we at least estimate the number of illegal alien children in Evanston schools? Just thinking of the referendum…

      1. Great question

        And, what’s the additional cost of resources for ESL/bilingual educators, outreach coordinators, subsidized meals/busing etc? How does this resource drain negatively impact the education & development of English speaking students?

    2.  Why would they

      Why would they ask us for 14.5 million a year if they could just come up with millions to cover what the government will take away anyways?

      I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works. If we lose millions in funding… which council member is going to cover that? Keep in mind our education system is suffering and Evanston is going to lose residents to the referendum (Evanston wants residents to contribute an additional 14.5 million annually to keep their children in school) and the resulting drop in property value when everyone flees, before city council will shell out their own cash to cover federal grants.

      1. What are your thoughts

        What are your thoughts regarding the D65 need for $90 million in capital improvements that will be coming up after this referendum (Evanston Roundtable)?  What are your thoughts regarding the 33% increase in income taxes next year?  If the 33% increase in income taxes results in more funding for schools, will we see a reduction in the requested amount–for example, D65 receives $2 million in additional funding in 2018…will the requested $14.5 million be reduced to $12.5 million?

        Do you realize that if there are 100 students (out of 7800) in D65 who falsely claim their address or, are here illegally, the savings to D65 would be $1,5 million dollars per year?

        I keep hitting these points because many people aren’t aware of what is coming around the corner in terms of income tax increases and a D65 building referendum.   No one has an excuse for claiming they didn’t know.

        If we add this addiitonal savings of $1.5 million, the needed request is $3.6 million per year or $43 million ($1.5 M/yr savings + $3.5 M/yr in user fees + $1.7 M/yr admin savings + $2 M/yr in benefit savings + $2-2.4 M/yr in savings for a one year teacher hiring freeze.  Selling a $3.6 million per year operation referendum is a lot easier than $14.5 million per year–isn’t it?  Doesn’t it show that we can be good stewards of our resources?

        No teachers laid off, a minor bump up in class size from 20 to 20.5.  We must be careful of pricing residents out of Evanston while maintaining our schools.

      2. kidding

        I was kidding about council members paying for there own mistakes. I did not think anyone would believe that the city council would actually take responsibility for their goof-ups. It is the taxpayers that must pay.

    3. Sessions is blowing things out of proportion

      With all due respect to the office of Attorney General, Mr. Sessions is blowing things out of proportion, and causing widespread fear-mongering. I do not want my town to be under a military dictatorship, with any resident of Evanston afraid of being detained without a legal warrant. The welcoming ordinance is just that: the ordinance protects and welcomes ALL Evanston residents, unless there is a valid legal warrant for their arrest. In that case, certainly the Evanston police and government authorities will cooperate with all other agencies. But as for random searches, seizures, traffic stops, and arbitrary demands for “let me see your papers!” — NOT okay. NOT in my community.

      1. Hooray

        I think everyone with a brain and common sense would agree with you!  You hit the nail on the head. Thanks for the honest clarity of the situation.

      2. Do elected officials care more about foreign nationals than us?

        Why is Evanston willing to risk much needed federal money to protect foreign nationals who broke our immigration laws? Who is more important to our elected officials – American citizens or citizens of other nations?

        The Evanston ordinance bars police from honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement orders while police are holding a person in the USA illegally or based on an administrative warrant or immigration detainer based solely on a violation of a civil immigration law. The ordinance prohibits Evanston police from holding undocumented immigrants for ICE after a stop unless there is an arrest warrant of they were convicted of a serious crime.

        Did ya know under Evanston’s revamped sanctuary city ordinance, city officials cannot ask those seeking city services about their immigration status. So in essence some of our tax dollars theoretically go to foreign nationals who are here illegally.

        By ignoring an administrative warrant, administrative agencies can not check for contraband, concealed weapons or other evidence of non-compliance with the law. How does that keep us safer, especially with a gang presence in Evanston?

        There is no doubt that the policy of Evanston and many other large sanctuary cities are violating federal law, which requires municipalities to inform the feds when they have an illegal immigrant in custody, even if he or she has not been convicted of a crime. 

        Kate Steinle was murdered by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal alien who was deported five times, came back, then detained in a San Francisco jail and released under a sanctuary city policy despite an ICE detainer. Lopez had seven felony convictions and was on probation in Texas at the time of the shooting. Kate died in her father’s arms.

        Did ya know that Department of Homeland Security publishes a weekly list of all detainer requests turned down by local jails?

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