Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

DOJ certifies New Orleans in full compliance with Federal immigration law

DOJ certifies New Orleans in full compliance with Federal immigration law

"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", said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a release Thursday. The assessment is its latest effort to force "sanctuary cities" to comply with federal immigration orders.

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.

If the government finds the cities and county are violating the statute that calls for information sharing with federal immigration officials, it says it could decide to cut federal funds for law enforcement.

In the ongoing battle against sanctuary cities, the Justice Department on Thursday said it is giving Chicago and Cook County more time - until October 27 - to comply with Trump administration immigration enforcement policies before yanking federal crime fighting grants.

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Document: Read the DOJ's letters to CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

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

Trump's promises to boot undocumented immigrants and build a southern border wall played well with his fans on the stump, but immigration has turned out to be more complex and divisive - even within the GOP itself - as the president's first year in office ticks by.

City solicitor Sozi Tulante responded that the city does share information, but that information doesn't include immigration status, because the city doesn't ask for it.

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The decision follows an April notification to New York City and eight other local governments asking them to prove they aren't giving official sanctuary to illegal immigrants.

Offending cities and states stand to lose money from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (or JAG grant), which provided Philadelphia with $1.6 million in 2016 to spend on police overtime, training, equipment, courtroom technology and other aspects of the criminal justice system. The city has been receiving these funds since 2005, spending $33 million on equipment and almost 1,000 police vehicles over the years.

"As you know, the city welcomed immigrants long before I was ever mayor", Kenney said at the time. Additionally, the Justice Department said subsequent investigations found Miami-Dade County, Fla., and Clark County, Nev., where Las Vegas is located, were already in accordance with federal immigration law, though previously they had been listed otherwise.

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