Justice Department warns cities on immigration law

Jeff Sessions gives ‘last chance’ warning to so-called ‘sanctuary cities

According to the Chicago Tribune, the letters contend that the city "violated federal immigration laws previous year when they were awarded public safety grants".

A federal law known by the shorthand 1373 requires local police to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally for several days until investigators from Immigration and Customs Enforcement can intervene, even if the crime they're accused of is minor, or no charges are filed.

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

Landrieu, however, suggested in a letter back to Sessions - co-signed by NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison - that the Justice Department's position amounts to "fear-mongering and false accusations".

"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", Sessions said in a statement.

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The letter from the Justice Department was a long awaited response after Landrieu, along with mayors from eight other jurisdictions including Sacramento, Chicago, Cook County, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee and New York City, were first asked in April to certify that their policies were following immigration law. "However we encourage all of Connecticut's law enforcement agencies not to participate" in joint operations with federal immigration agents, he wrote.

As he has repeated following similar threats, Landrieu says NOPD's policy - which followed extensive review with ICE under the federal consent decree - is in "full compliance" with the feds and has argued that the threats made by the Trump administration against the city are unfounded and politically motivated. "On its face, the Department has determined that this. appears to restrict Chicago police officers" ability to "assist' federal immigration officers by sharing information regarding immigration status with the federal officers". The pair have threatened to cut off federal funding to the cities - which include Hartford and New Haven - but so far that hasn't happened. The City of New Orleans will not be side-tracked by caustic, political rhetoric that seeks to make us fearful of others and scapegoat immigrants.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions argued it was wrong to apply an order nationally in a case brought by Chicago and that it should only apply to that city. Eddie Johnson and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, dated October 11, comes as Attorney General Jeff Sessions is appealing a September order by a federal judge - in a case filed by the city of Chicago - blocking the Trump administration's efforts to keep fiscal year 2017 grant money from sanctuary cities.

The letter is the latest salvo in a protracted battle between the Trump administration, with its hardline immigration policies, and city officials, who have insisted their sanctuary policies on undocumented immigrants make the city safer and do not break the law.

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