Chicago officials dismiss Justice Dept

Apr 22, 2017, 01:44
Chicago officials dismiss Justice Dept

The Justice Department on Friday threatened to revoke certain federal grants from nine "sanctuary" jurisdictions if they fail to prove they are in compliance with federal immigration law.

The letters went to officials in California and in major cities including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans - all places the Justice Department's inspector general has identified as limiting the information local law enforcement can provide to federal immigration authorities about those in their custody.

"Y$3 our jurisdiction is required to submit documentation to OJP that validates that your jurisdiction is in compliance with 8 U.S.C. 1373, which states that 'a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in anyway 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.'"

A related letter to the director of Mayor de Blasio's Office of Criminal Justice warns that the feds could withhold funding, suspend or terminate grants, declare the city ineligibe for future funding or take "other action, as appropriate".

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The bitter back and forth came as DOJ officials are warned they'll withhold the money NY is entitled to from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program if city officials don't prove they're complying with the law.

It is an extension of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' repeated threats to crack down on sanctuary communities by denying or stripping them of grant money.

The Justice Department is threatening to cut off NY from a grant program named after an NYPD officer slain while protecting an immigrant because of New York's "sanctuary city" status - and knocking the city for being "soft on crime".

New Orleans was among the 100 communities that "limit cooperation" with the federal government, according to a list the Trump administration put out in March.

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"We don't think there's a problem", he said.

"Milwaukee County has its challenges but they are not caused by illegal immigration", he said in a statement.

Later, Police Commissioner James O'Neill issued a statement pointing out that past year, NY experienced fewer shootings than since the city had started keeping records.

New Orleans police have no means or authority to enforce immigration laws or hold someone suspected of violating them, he said. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, the elected head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said the city and county were wrongly labeled sanctuary cities. "My far greater concern is the proactive dissemination of misinformation, fear, and intolerance", said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

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