On Thursday, some of the top law enforcement officials in the US gathered to hear President Donald Trump slam the so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ that protect undocumented immigrants from federal immigration authorities as he attempts to crack down on such jurisdictions. Trump accused uncooperative cities of putting the country at risk with the release of thousands of criminal immigrants, including predators, murderers, rapists, and gang members, who should be deported from the country.

The new statements from Trump come as Capitol Hill lawmakers continue to try to negotiate a spending bill for the government, which now seems unlikely to include funding for the wall on the border between the US and Mexico that has long been a part of the President’s agenda.

The Justice Department and Trump have ramped up the pressure on jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration laws, trying to deny them access to federal grants. The Justice Department recently sued California in an attempt to overturn some of their immigration laws. The harsh rhetoric comes when hope appears to be fading for finding a compromise to help ‘Dreamers’, the young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as minors.

Trump announced late last year that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would end, and Democrats have been pushing for a temporary extension. But, while the government has been forced to continue processing renewals from previous recipients, no new permits are being issued and Democrats have refused to agree to Trump’s terms for such a deal.