Monday, 23 October, 2017

DOJ: Philly's sanctuary city policies violate federal law

Sessions Says Connecticut Is In Compliance With Immigration Information-Sharing Law Justice Department latest sanctuary city move on Chicago, Cook County
Bennie Garza | 12 October, 2017, 21:12

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned Chicago and three other cities to get into compliance with federal laws or risk losing federal grants.

The department said Thursday that New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, and Cook County in IL along with its largest city Chicago, "have preliminarily been found" to have policies that violate the law.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has maintained CT is in compliance with all federal immigration law, but he has reminded state and local police that they have no obligation to act as enforcers of immigration law, which is a federal matter.

Cities on the attorney general's warning list include New York, Philadelphia and New Orleans, as well as Chicago and surrounding Cook County in IL.

The Justice Department says the cities are specifically violating the federal statute called 8 U.S.C. 1373.

Philadelphia police policy forbids officers from asking about anyone's immigration status; city officials have said that when officers inadvertently learn about someone's immigration status, that information will make it into a police report only when that person is suspected of a crime. It cleared Madison, Wisconsin and the state of CT of any sanctuary city wrongdoing, joining Clark County, Nevada and Miami-Dade County, Florida, which had been previously exonerated.

Then, under President Barack Obama, the DOJ told city officials that in order to keep the policing grant, they would have to certify they were complying with a federal law that bars cities from restricting communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the immigration status of people encountered by police or other municipal agencies.

Federal and local officials have battled over sanctuary city protections not only as a matter of law, but one of finance: The Trump administration has threatened to deny uncooperative cities funding from Washington if they don't comply.

Although the sanctuary city debate has boiled over in the age of Trump, it is a long-standing fight.

"Jurisdictions that adopt so-called "sanctuary policies" also adopt the view that the protection of criminal aliens is more important than the protection of law-abiding citizens and of the rule of law", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

The Landrieu administration didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.

In August, Kenney announced a lawsuit against Sessions, alleging that new JAG funding requirements that force cities to abandon "sanctuary city" policies are unlawful.

The Trump administration's Justice Department, however, apparently have dismissed the city's earlier responses.

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

But the policy also instructs cops not to ask about immigration status in the course of an investigation, something police officials have said is crucial to encouraging witnesses and victims in immigrant communities to cooperate with detectives and report crimes. "Irrespective of immigration status, our police departments every day are out there aggressively making sure the streets of America are safe".

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