Sessions Gives Sanctuary Cities a Final Warning

14 October, 2017, 00:50 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions Wikimedia Commons

At least two Philadelphia policies aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants violate federal law, according to a preliminary assessment conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

They are: Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia and Cook County, Ill.

The Department of Justice found New York City isn't complying with federal immigration laws and ordered the Big Apple to prove it's not a sanctuary city by October 27 or risk losing millions in federal grant dollars.

The Justice Department has threatened to cut off federal funding to boost law enforcement in cities that do not comply with the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to identify and deport undocumented immigrants. Landrieu added that the letter failed to note that the NOPD policy "does "not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, [ICE] information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.'" "As such, we continue to state unambiguously that [NOPD policy] does not restrict officers and employees from requesting information regarding immigration status from federal immigration officers", Landrieu said".

Kenney has been an ardent supporter of Philadelphia's "sanctuary city" policies.

"Instead of fear-mongering and false accusations, we urge you to work with mayors across the nation to tackle violent crime through smart, evidence-based policing", Landrieu said.

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Other policies highlighted in the letters keep CPD officers and Cook County Sheriff's deputies from assisting in investigations into residents' immigration status, or from requesting information about their immigration status unless required by law.

New Orleans and the other cities have until Oct. 27 to prove compliance, the department said Thursday (Oct. 12).

The exchange between Landrieu and Sessions' Justice Department is hardly the first contentious battle over the NOPD's policies on immigration.

The Justice Department review brought better news for others.

The Justice Department, however, apparently has dismissed the city's earlier responses.

At an event in August, Landrieu hit back at claims from the federal acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director that some cities were releasing "serious criminal offenders". "Irrespective of immigration status, our police departments every day are out there aggressively making sure the streets of America are safe". President Trump has warned leaders of all sanctuary cities that they risk losing federal funds for fighting crime if they don't comply. The city's lawsuit is over whether the Justice Department has the power to withhold Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants from governments that don't cooperate with immigration agents in trying to identify and possibly deport people in the US illegally. Several agencies and local governments in California had sued over the order.

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