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Sessions cracks down on sanctuary cities, plans to withhold grant money

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it won’t give cities some law enforcement grant money unless they give federal immigration authorities access to jails and alert them when someone facing deportation will be released from local custody.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions unrolled the new conditions Tuesday, escalating his promised crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities. Under old rules, cities seeking grant money needed only to show that they weren’t prohibiting local law enforcement from communicating with immigration authorities.

Police use the money for everything from bulletproof vests to body cameras.

Sessions unveiled the policy amid speculation about whether he will retain his job following President Donald Trump’s blistering public criticism for recusing himself from the Russia probe. Sessions and Trump had bonded during the campaign, largely over shared hard-line views on illegal immigration.