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emfizz.com October 19, 2017


Justice Department Sets Deadline for Sanctuary Cities

13 October 2017, 12:08 | Terri Saunders

Justice Department Gives "Sanctuary Cities" Final Warning on Immigrants

A letter from the Justice Department released Thursday said officials believe New York is violating a law requiring cooperation on immigration enforcement

The Justice Department on Thursday sent out a "last chance" warning for several US cities to comply with federal immigration laws, the latest step in a battle over so-called "sanctuary cities".

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. It is giving those jurisdictions until October 27 to provide evidence demonstrating compliance.

The Justice Department has threatened to cut off federal funding to boost law enforcement in cities that do not comply with the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to identify and deport undocumented immigrants. 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".

The Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu and the superintendent of the police department said the city was in "full compliance" with the statute but added that they would "not be the federal government's deportation force".

The determinations came after the Justice Department earlier in the year had asked several local jurisdictions to detail their compliance with the law in order to make a determination about their eligibility for certain federal grants. Though this rule is aimed at barring questions about immigrants' legal status, DOJ says it could be interpreted to bar NYPD members from requesting immigration info from federal immigration officers, which would be illegal.

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The city has said its policies are legal, and vowed to sue if money is actually taken away.

The DOJ said it was the "last chance" for jurisdictions to comply. Perhaps ironically, another major Trump supporter, Republican former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, memorably offered a dramatic defense of policies that shielded immigrants from persecution while running City Hall in the 1990s.

Two other jurisdictions that were asked to prove their compliance with the law - Milwaukee County and the state of CT - were cleared in the letters released Thursday.

DOJ points to two other provisions on the books in the city, one that bars city employees from disclosing confidential information including immigration status - though that rule has an exception when disclosure is required by law - and one that says Department of Correction shouldn't spend time on the job responding to federal immigration inquiries.



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