DOJ gives last chance warning to NYC for sanctuary city policies

Cheryl Sanders
October 13, 2017

Landrieu said the justice department failed to note that official 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.

The city maintains it cooperates with federal immigration agents on illegal immigrants.

While the DOJ said New Orleans and a handful of other areas have one final time to prove their compliance, Landrieu said the city is already in compliance with federal immigration law.

The letter covers fiscal year 2016 grants, not the fiscal year 2017 grants now tied up in court because of new conditions the Trump administration connected to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.

The Trump administration has taken a hard stance against so-called "sanctuary cities" like Philadelphia, claiming they leave violent criminals on the streets.

This week, the Justice Department issued a preliminary finding of noncompliance with immigration laws to five of those jursidications: New York City, Cook County, Illinois; Chicago, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

A law enforcement grant received by the city requires compliance with the law, the letter states. It determined Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and CT to be in compliance.

The Justice Department said it had found no evidence that four other jurisdictions - Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Clark County, Nevada, Miami-Dade County, Florida and the State of CT - were in violation of the statue, known as Section 1373. U.S.C. 1373 - states that a federal, state or local government entity can not restrict any government entity from "sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual".

Eddie Johnson and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, along with a handful of other so-called sanctuary cities around the country, come as Mayor Rahm Emanuel continues a federal court fight with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In April, a presidential executive order that would have cut off funds to sanctuary cities was stymied by a judge's order. It states that Philly police will cooperate with federal authorities as they investigate immigrants suspected of criminal activities but will not transmit the immigration status of any victims of crimes.

The Kenney administration has until October 27 to submit a response to the DOJ assessment before a final determination is made, Hanson wrote.

After accusations that the City of New Orleans was illegally operating as a "sanctuary city" in defiance of Federal law, the Department of Justice today certified that the NOPD is, in fact, in full compliance with the law.

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