Finally acting on a promise made to House leaders, the Justice Department on Thursday shut off funding to so-called "sanctuary cities" that ignore federal laws and protect illegal immigrants wanted for crimes.

"Today, the DOJ notified local and state law enforcement agencies across America that they will no longer be eligible for federal law enforcement grants unless they certify under oath that their local or state laws do not interfere 'in any way' with requests for immigration information from federal authorities," according to Texas Rep. John Culberson who demanded action earlier this year.

Justice sent Culberson a letter detailing the new rules that cut off several Justice grants, many to law enforcement, if cities like San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and over 300 others block access to criminal illegals sought by federal authorities.

It is a huge victory for Culberson, chairman of the Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee on Appropriations, and others who sought to shut down the once secret system in cities. The practice of taking federal money then refusing to give up criminal illegals became public after the 2015 San Francisco killing of Kate Steinle allegedly by an illegal immigrant who had been deported for crimes several times.

"Sanctuary cities are a hub for illegal aliens and criminal activity, and we've seen the tragic results of these policies time and time again. It has been more than a year since Kate Steinle was murdered at the hands of a criminal illegal alien who intentionally sought out shelter in San Francisco due to the city's sanctuary policies. This violence and suffering is intolerable and completely preventable," said Culberson.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com