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Feds say Chicago violated immigration rules on Byrne grant

Feds say Chicago violated immigration rules on Byrne grant

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.

A federal judge in Chicago on Friday denied a request by the U.S. Department of Justice to lift a national freeze on a Trump administration policy that would withhold public safety grants to so-called sanctuary cities that don't agree to tougher enforcement of U.S. immigration law.

In April, under President Trump, the department sent a letter to nine cities, including Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago, reminding them they had until the end of June to certify their compliance. The DOJ says this restricts the sharing of information regarding undocumented immigrants.

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".

The federal immigration law in question states that a "federal, state, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way 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". One is that cities give immigration agents easy access to local jails. Critics have dubbed such places "sanctuary cities".

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An additional three policies also may not be in compliance, depending on the way Philadelphia applies them.

The Trump administration has taken a hard stance against so-called "sanctuary cities" like Philadelphia, claiming they leave violent criminals on the streets. "We urge jurisdictions to not only comply with Section 1373 but to establish sensible and effective partnerships to properly process criminal aliens".

But the DOJ said in its reply on Wednesday that the city's policy of not informing ICE when an inmate or detainee is released from custody does violate federal law.

"We will build relationships between the NOPD and all community members", Landrieu wrote. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry also has pounced on New Orleans over the issue in the wake of Trump's immigration policies. "Mitch Landrieu is playing politics at the expense of New Orleans", Landry said in a statement. 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.

Sanctuary cities can be denied federal dollars under President Trump's January 25 executive order created to crack down on localities that protect undocumented immigrants from federal immigration authorities. 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.

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