DOJ to Landrieu: prove immigration compliance or risk losing grant

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at a news conference after touring the U.S.-Mexico border on April 11. The Justice Department is warning so-called

Calling New York "soft on crime", pointing out that murders in Chicago have "skyrocketed", and criticizing law enforcement in the Bay Area with seeming to be "more concerned with reassuring illegal immigrants" than cracking down on gang members, the Trump Administration on Friday fired shots across the bows of nine jurisdictions, including Milwaukee, reminding them to enforce immigration law or risk losing federal money.

The letters went to so-called "sanctuary cities" the DOJ's inspector general has previously said have rules that limit information available to US immigration officials.

"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", the letter said.

A New Orleans official says the city will provide the Justice Department with proof that it is complying with federal law and cooperating with immigration authorities.

Still, if the jurisdictions fail to prove they are in full compliance, they could lose the Office of Justice Programs Byrne JAG grant, which provides funding for personnel, training, and equipment, among other things.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has warned the administration will punish communities that won't cooperate with efforts to find and deport immigrants in the USA illegally. money.

What that generally means is that each jurisdiction has passed regulations limiting how much their law enforcement officials with cooperate with immigration agents.

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The sanctuary cities were a reaction to Obama-era policies that enlisted local police in immigration enforcement.

New Orleans was among the 100 communities that "limit cooperation" with the federal government, according to a list the Trump administration put out in March.

It also took issue with a New Orleans Police Department policy that it said might hinder communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu's executive counsel and director of federal relations said the city reviewed a letter Friday from the Justice Department. "To say we're soft on crime is absolutely ludicrous". "I'd like to think of myself as a pretty calm and measured person.but when I read that statement by DOJ this afternoon, my blood began to boil", he said.

Other places also insisted they were in compliance. Sessions said earlier this week that sanctuary cities undermine efforts to fight violent gangs.

He rejected the Trump administration's statements linking crime and illegal immigration.

"Milwaukee County has its challenges but they are not caused by illegal immigration". "My far greater concern is the proactive dissemination of misinformation, fear, and intolerance".

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