Republican leadership is going to fund sanctuary cities in the must-pass spending bill next week, giving Democrats a huge victory while simultaneously undercutting conservatives who put them in power, a senior GOP aide told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
"House and Senate leadership has rolled over and played dead on border security. When it comes to a border wall, they say it is not our problem. When it comes to funding sanctuary cities, they say it is not our problem. What they are essentially saying is we are going to pass bills with more Democrats than Republicans," the aide told TheDCNF. "This is a sign to administration that leadership doesn’t care what the White House wants. Even though GOP members ran on these issues. Conservatives mean it. The administration means it."
The White House is arguably more serious about immigration policy than any other campaign promise President Donald Trump made in 2016.
Within his first few weeks in office, Trump signed an executive order in January 2017 to strip federal grants from cities that harbor illegal immigrants. A federal judge blocked
the president’s move that November, arguing that the administration did not have the legal authority to cut funding that Congress had already appropriated. The battle between the administration and federal courts is still ongoing, but Congress has the means to end the debate, given that it has the "power of the purse."
Conservatives in Congress, along with administration officials, are currently lobbying leadership to stop funding sanctuary cities. The argument is if Congress stops appropriating the money for these federal grants in the spending bill, the court’s claim is undercut and the administration and Republicans could claim a victory.
The government shelled out roughly $27 billion in federal grants in 2016 alone, according
to American Transparency.
The president himself called on Congress March 10 to stop giving money to cities outright disobeying federal immigration laws.