Published: Sat, October 14, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Merle Christensen

DOJ: Last chance for sanctuary cities

DOJ: Last chance for sanctuary cities

A letter from the Justice Department released Thursday said officials believe NY is violating a law requiring cooperation on immigration enforcement - one of four cities put on notice they were out of compliance. "As such, we continue to state unambiguously that Chapter 41.6.1 does not restrict officers and employees from requesting information regarding immigration status from federal immigration officers". Sessions has said that federal grant money would be withheld from sanctuary jurisdictions. Emanuel, though, blasted Trump on immigration Thursday, saying the president's administration is "morally wrong, policy-wise wrong and their set of priorities will lead you in the wrong direction".

Landrieu, however, suggested in a letter back to Sessions - co-signed by NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison - that the Justice Department's position amounts to "fear-mongering and false accusations".

"Jurisdictions that adopt so-called "sanctuary policies" also adopt the view that the protection of criminal aliens is more important than the protection of law-abiding citizens and of the rule of law", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

It added that the four cities have until October 27 to show they are complying with other, long-standing federal law, including a almost 20-year-old statute that says cities can't hinder information sharing with immigration agents. "The federal government has the job of enforcing immigration laws, we do not".

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has maintained CT is in compliance with all federal immigration law, but he has reminded state and local police that they have no obligation to act as enforcers of immigration law, which is a federal matter.

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Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement Thursday that the city was informed it was in full compliance with immigration law, but the DOJ statement lists New Orleans as one of the cities possibly violating it.

The Justice Department review brought better news for others.

Then, under President Barack Obama, the DOJ told city officials that in order to keep the policing grant, they would have to certify they were complying with a federal law that bars cities from restricting communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the immigration status of people encountered by police or other municipal agencies. The pair have threatened to cut off federal funding to the cities - which include Hartford and New Haven - but so far that hasn't happened.

The department also wrote that the city's policy of not sharing the immigration status of victims of crime is also in violation of the law.

A Chicago federal judge last month imposed a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration from tying grants to two new conditions.

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