By Ava-joye Burnett

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The White House has outlined a plan to withhold critical federal funding from any jurisdiction that refuses to assist in illegal immigration cases.

Some local leaders remain defiant.

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The president has slammed cities and counties that pledge to shield illegal immigrants from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Now, the administration has a plan to penalize those jurisdictions.

As ICE agents arrest illegal immigrants around the country, a showdown has surfaced.

Some localities have defiantly refused to assist. Leaders say that’s the federal government’s job.

But now the Trump administration says it will cut off some federal funding for sanctuary cities and counties that refuse to help.

“If you’re an alien smuggler, and you’re smuggling people in this country for a living, that is one sales pitch,” said acting ICE Director Tom Homan.

d”We can get you to a sanctuary city, where that city will help shield you from immigration.”

Earlier this year, Howard County was embroiled in a fierce debate, where leaders considered making the county a safe haven for illegal immigrants.

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Local police would not have been allowed to ask someone about their immigration status. But the county executive eventually vetoed that decision.

Councilman Calvin Ball believes that was the wrong decision.

“I think it’s important for us to make sure that we make our priorities heard, and for me, one of our priorities is making sure that we protect our residents, making sure that we stand up for our values,” Ball said, “So I don’t think we should be quiet and silent and sit down when we hear threats like this.”

Baltimore City, along with Montgomery and Prince George’s County, also took similar steps to shield illegal immigrants.

But with this clearly outlined directive from the administration, sanctuary jurisdictions could lose critical federal dollars that help with law enforcement programs.

“Sanctuary cities need to help us keep the communities safe,” Homan said.

Administration officials say cracking down on illegal immigration will be key to cutting off violent gangs like MS-13.

The new directives require jurisdictions to give federal agents access to detention facilities and require 48-hour notification before releasing a wanted illegal alien.

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Ava-joye Burnett