Justice Department Threatens Funding Over Philadelphia Immigration Policies

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

President Trump vowed to strip federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities, which refuse to assist with enforcement and deportation against undocumented immigrants.

The section Sessions references, Section 1373, is a federal statute barring local and state governments from limiting communication regarding residents' immigration or citizenship status with federal officials.

The DOJ says Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans and New York City fit that description.

The U.S. Department of Justice, in separate letters to Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle penned Wednesday, highlights several active policies created to shield undocumented immigrants from being unduly targeted by law enforcement entities.

The Justice Department on Thursday sent out a "last chance" warning for several US cities to comply with federal immigration laws, the latest step in a battle over so-called "sanctuary cities".

The DOJ said it was the "last chance" for jurisdictions to comply.

The latest salvo from the Trump administration does not specify why exactly it asserts the city and county are in violation, but gives them until October 27 to prove otherwise before the Justice Department reaches "its final determination" on the matter.

The feds are giving what they call a "last chance" warning to NY that the city's immigrant-friendly policies may cost it federal grants.

A law enforcement grant received by the city requires compliance with the law, the letter states. Big-city mayors including New York's Bill de Blasio and Chicago's Rahm Emanuel have openly defied federal instructions to turn in undocumented immigrants.

The Justice Department also found Chicago, New Orleans, New York City and Cook County, Illinois, to be in violation.

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, long outspoken in support of hardline immigration policies, left his post in August to become a top advisor to the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.

In a separate case filed by several cities and counties in California, the Justice Department in a June filing acknowledged that immigration detainer requests are voluntary, and that Sessions had not said that non-compliance with detainer requests would count as a breach of Section 1373.

Both the city and the county have identical ordinances on the books preventing local law enforcement from "expend (ing) their time responding to (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) inquiries or communicating with ICE regarding" individuals' incarceration status or release dates while on duty.

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