Justice Department Warns 4 Cities Over 'Sanctuary' Policies

Marsha Scott
October 13, 2017

The jurisdictions have until October 27 to show they don't have any codes or policies preventing local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

The feds are giving what they call a "last chance" warning to NY that the city's immigrant-friendly policies may cost it federal grants.

New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Cook County, which includes Chicago and its near suburbs, were found to be in potential violation of 8 USC 1373, a federal statute that bars local jurisdictions from limiting communication with the federal authorities about a person's immigration status.

Broadly speaking, a sanctuary city is one that doesn't necessarily enforce federal immigration laws or hand over undocumented immigrants to federal agencies.

The United States Justice Department singled out four cities and a county on Thursday for allegedly having so-called "sanctuary policies" that may violate a federal law that says local governments can not limit information sharing with USA immigration officials.

The Justice Department has also flagged Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is located.

A similar letter was sent to seven municipalities, including Chicago, New York and New Orleans.

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"We are reviewing DOJ's response, and are prepared to fight to protect critical public safety funding", Seth Stein, a de Blasio spokesman, told Newsweek.

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.

Some cities say they will only honor detainers accompanied by criminal warrants, and that compliance with the requests is voluntary and not required under the statute.

Sessions, in a statement accompanying the warnings, said "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".

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, long outspoken in support of hardline immigration policies, left his post in August to become a top advisor to the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.

Both the city and the county have identical ordinances on the books preventing local law enforcement from "expend (ing) their time responding to (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) inquiries or communicating with ICE regarding" individuals' incarceration status or release dates while on duty.

Several U.S. cities and counties passed local laws or enacted procedures that prohibit law enforcement from notifying Homeland Security when an undocumented immigrant is identified or arrested.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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