Feds say Chicago violated immigration rules on Byrne grant

Angelica Greene
October 14, 2017

The U.S. Department of Justice says it's giving local officials a "last chance" to drop so-called "sanctuary city" policies and get into compliance with federal lawor risklosing grant money moving forward.

Similar letters went to Chicago and Cook County where that city is located, Philadelphia and New Orleans telling them they're out of compliance.

A Thursday Justice Department statement names Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and New Orleans.

Landrieu and other city officials have repeatedly denied that New Orleans is a "sanctuary city" and have contested previous findings by Sessions' Justice Department with letters certifying that the NOPD is in compliance with federal law.

Landrieu added in his letter that the DOJ failed to note that the NOPD's operation manual states that officers are to follow the federal immigration statute, and that "the policy does not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, [ICE] information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual".

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Mayor Kenney said Philadelphia welcomes immigrants and supports its immigrant communities. "As such, we continue to state unambiguously that Chapter 41.6.1 does not restrict officers and employees from requesting information regarding immigration status from federal immigration officers. This is not their money, this is taxpayers' money", said Kenney. "Mitch Landrieu is playing politics at the expense of New Orleans", Landry said in a statement. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry also has pounced on New Orleans over the issue in the wake of Trump's immigration policies.

In addition, Philadelphia is suing over other new requirements for policing grants that Sessions imposed on cities in July, aimed at punishing sanctuary cities. One of the primary battles is that of Chicago's "sanctuary city" status.

New Orleans City Attorney Rebecca Dietz concluded in a legal opinion that the NOPD policy does not violate federal law.

Sessions and President Donald Trump have been vocal opponents of so-called "sanctuary cities", which enact policies to protect undocumented immigrants. 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.

"While I firmly believe the city complies with federal laws, the city's position for some time has been that the Attorney General has overstepped his authority in even requiring us to comply with 8 U.S.C Section 1373 as a condition of a grant that has nothing to do with immigration enforcement", said Kenney during the press conference.

Other reports by GizPress

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