Medicine

Chicago officials dismiss Justice Dept

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.

In a statement, the Justice Department singled out Chicago and New York as two cities that are "crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime", even though New York City is experiencing its lowest crime levels in decades and experts say Chicago's recent spike in violent crime has little to do with illegal immigration. Friday's letters warn officials they must provide proof from an attorney that they are following the law.

New York City Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill said Justice's statement "demonstrates a willful disregard for the facts", adding that the city has seen crime drop overall, including major reductions in murders and shootings.

"Contrary to their alternative facts, NY is the safest big city in the country, with crime at record lows in large part because we have policies in place to encourage cooperation between NYPD and immigrant communities".

The jurisdictions also include Clark County, Nevada; Cook County, Illinois; Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

They were highlighted in a May 2016 report by the Justice Department's inspector general that found they have policies or rules that interfere with information-sharing among local law enforcement and immigration agents.

In a statement, the DOJ claimed that numerous jurisdictions are "crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime".

"Failure to comply with this condition could result in the withholding of grant funds, suspension or termination of the grant, ineligibility for future [Justice Department] grants or subgrants, or other actions, as appropriate", Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson said in letters to the cities.

Kevin de Leon, leader of California's state Senate, rejected the administration's demand, saying its policies are based on "principles of white supremacy" and not American values. The letter warned that federal grant money could be withheld if the city can't document cooperation.

A number of sanctuary cities have sued over the executive order.

The department sent the city a letter warning it to comply with federal immigration enforcement of risk losing grant money. It was reviewing the Justice Department's letter.

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.

Butterworth also says New Orleans police have no means or authority to enforce immigration laws or hold someone suspected of violating them.


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