This bill aims to deter cities and states from declaring themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants by cutting off federal grants from participating law enforcement agencies. It would prohibit federal funding from going to any city, local, or state law enforcement agency that gets grants through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program if the agency complies with local sanctuary laws for undocumented immigrants. It would also make those sanctuary cities, counties, and states ineligible to receive funding through the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).
What is a sanctuary city or state? While there is no firm definition, in general the term applies to local governments that have adopted policies restricting cooperation with federal immigration authorities by local law enforcement agencies. In practice, it means local law enforcement will protect undocumented immigrants who have been arrested, but don't have criminal records from federal deportation agents by not reporting them to the federal government.
Many state and local law enforcement agencies receive grants from the Dept. of Justice’s (DOJ) COPS Program which go toward hiring police officers, combatting specific crimes, and developing trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. In its fiscal year 2014 budget request, the DOJ asked Congress to provide $439.5 million for the COPS program — an increase of $241 million from the its funding the year prior.