DOJ gives New Orleans "last chance" on NOPD immigration policy

Isaac Cain
October 14, 2017

The Justice Department on Thursday said it was giving four cities - Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and New Orleans - a "last chance" to show they're not thwarting enforcement of USA immigration law before possibly losing grants that help pay for police cars and public safety equipment.

At issue, according to the Justice Department letter, are city and county restrictions on cooperation with federal agents to determine the "immigration status of any person. This is not their money, this is taxpayers' money", said Kenney.

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

Eddie Johnson and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, along with a handful of other so-called sanctuary cities around the country, come as Mayor Rahm Emanuel continues a federal court fight with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The executive order, signed by Kenney on January 4, 2016, directs Philadelphia police to disregard detainer requests unless they are supported by a judicial warrant and involve a person being released after conviction for a first- or second-degree violent felony.

Several jurisdictions have filed suit against the federal government arguing such orders violate the 10th Amendment by compelling states to enforce federal immigration laws.

A federal judge in April blocked an executive order by Trump that tried to pull a far broader set of federal grants from local law enforcement agencies that don't fully cooperate with federal immigration enforcement actions.

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The Department of Justice found New York City isn't complying with federal immigration laws and ordered the Big Apple to prove it's not a sanctuary city by October 27 or risk losing millions in federal grant dollars.

The Justice Department has threatened to cut off federal dollars to New York City if it doesn't change its policies.

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.

New Orleans officials are holding a news conference Thursday to discuss the city's compliance with federal immigration law.

Wednesday's letter demanded that the city certify that police officers aren't prohibited from contacting federal immigration authorities to ask about an individual's immigration status.

The Justice Department, however, apparently has dismissed the city's earlier responses.

A Chicago federal judge last month imposed a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration from tying grants to two new conditions.

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