ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is denouncing demands for Albuquerque to adopt tougher immigration policies in order to get access to federal law enforcement funds.

ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson said Thursday that those demands were “a bullying tactic” from Attorney General Jeff Sessions who is “determined to make misery in the lives of immigrant families.”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to keep federal crime-fighting resources from cities beset by violence. The Justice Department sent letters to four cities, including Albuquerque, telling them they will be ineligible for an anti-violence program if they don’t help detain and deport people in the country illegally.

Simonson says the attorney general’s actions are “petty, coercive, and dangerous” for Albuquerque as the city sees a rise in crime.