Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

City officials respond to 'last chance warning' on sanctuary city status

City officials respond to 'last chance warning' on sanctuary city status

Proponents of "sanctuary cities", like Kenney, say they create trust between police and immigrants, who otherwise might be afraid to report crimes.

The U.S. Department of Justice says it's giving local officials a "last chance" to drop so-called "sanctuary city" policies and get into compliance with federal lawor risklosing grant money moving forward.

They are: Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia and Cook County, Ill. That law says local governments "may not prohibit, or in any way restrict" the delivery of information about "the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual" to federal immigration authorities. Big-city mayors including New York's Bill de Blasio and Chicago's Rahm Emanuel have openly defied federal instructions to turn in undocumented immigrants.

"I commend the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office and the State of CT on their commitment to complying with Section 1373", Sessions said, "I urge all jurisdictions found to be out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents".

Landrieu certified that the city was in full compliance in April, after a DOJ letter sent to officials in New Orleans, Sacramento, Chicago, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, and NY threatening penalties against any city operating as a "sanctuary city".

The letter gives the city until October 27 to submit more documents proving they're in compliance before the feds make a final decision about the money.

In addition to New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago and Cook County, Illinois (which includes the city of Chicago and many of its suburbs), also received letters from the DOJ asking for proof that they are not in violation of any federal laws that deal with immigration.

The Trump administration has sought to punish sanctuary cities since January, when it issued an executive order to pull federal funding from any jurisdiction that limited cooperation with immigration authorities. "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".

Sanctuary jurisdictions generally opt not to cooperate with federal agents by notifying them of the immigration status of people who have been detained in connection with criminal activity.

Chicago sued the federal government in August over the threats of funding cuts being made by Justice Department. And the Justice Department apparently rejected the city's earlier attempts to prove compliance.

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