"Failure to comply with this condition could result in the withholding of grant funds, suspension or termination of the grant, ineligibility for future [Justice Department] grants or subgrants, or other actions, as appropriate", Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson said in letters to the cities.
The Trump administration as a whole has taken a hard-line stance on immigration, calling for the speedy removal of criminals while also broadening the levels of crime that could subject someone to deportation.
The Trump administration has threatened to punish so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to assist federal agents in enforcing immigration law.More news: USA, Mexico and Canada team up for 2026 World Cup bid
The letters went to officials in California and in major cities including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans, all places the Justice Department's inspector general has identified as limiting the information local law enforcement can provide to federal immigration authorities about those in their custody. The department says it will withhold important grant money unless the county follows a federal immigration law.
The municipalities that received the letters were identified in a Justice Department inspector general's report a year ago as potentially out of compliance with the requirements. It is named for Edward Byrne, a murdered New York City police officer.
The number of murders in particular has plummeted: In 2016, the total murders in the city were 335 - down from 352 in 2015 and 673 in 2000.More news: Aaron Hernandez had Bible verse written on forehead
The release went on to call NY "soft on crime", talk about how murders in Chicago have "skyrocketed" and said that officials in the Bay Area seem "more concerned with reassuring illegal immigrants that the raid was unrelated to immigration than with warning other MS-13 members that they were next".
According to the Justice Department, the amount of grants ranged from Las Vegas, which received $11,537, to California, which received $10.4 million split among 128 jurisdictions.
Officials in Chicago have already said they would hold firm against Sessions' threats.More news: US reviewing Venezuela's seizure of GM assets
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