Saturday, 21 October, 2017

DOJ gives last chance warning to NYC for sanctuary city policies

Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions Wikimedia Commons Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions Wikimedia Commons
Javier Burns | 14 October, 2017, 00:50

New Orleans is once again being asked to prove that it is complying with federal immigration law, after it was included on a list with four other so-called "sanctuary cities" that the Trump administration say have failed to meet those requirements, according to a press-release issued by the Department of Justice. "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". As much as I would be tempted to allow sanctuary cities to secede from the nation, it's probably better to keep the country together, as Abraham Lincoln once said.

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".

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that these cities "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".

Mayor Kenney said Philadelphia welcomes immigrants and supports its immigrant communities. Even before Friday's ruling, the Justice Department already took its objections to the injunction to the Chicago-based U.S. 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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The federal immigration law in question states that a "federal, state, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual".

In a statement Thursday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the DOJ confirmed the city's compliance. 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 USA illegally. 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. Eddie Johnson and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, dated October 11, comes as Attorney General Jeff Sessions is appealing a September order by a federal judge - in a case filed by the city of Chicago - blocking the Trump administration's efforts to keep fiscal year 2017 grant money from sanctuary cities.

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. Several agencies and local governments in California had sued over the order.

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