Justice Department Sets Deadline for Sanctuary Cities

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez make a plea to ICE to stop conducting raids in New York courthouses

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez make a plea to ICE to stop conducting raids in New York courthouses

"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", said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a release Thursday.

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.

Landrieu has denied that New Orleans is a sanctuary city and has disputed prior findings from the DOJ with letters that he says prove the city is in compliance with federal law.

The U.S. Department of Justice has put five U.S. jurisdictions on notice: end sanctuary policies by October 27.

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

At least two Philadelphia policies aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants violate federal law, according to a preliminary assessment conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Similar letters went to Chicago and Cook County where that city is located, Philadelphia and New Orleans telling them they're out of compliance.

"As we have maintained for years, the Department of Justice has confirmed that we are in full compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373", Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

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In August, Kenney announced a lawsuit against Sessions, alleging that new JAG funding requirements that force cities to abandon "sanctuary city" policies are unlawful. Of the seven, DOJ cleared Miami-Dade County, Fla., and Clark County, Nev., saying that there was "no evidence" they were out of compliance with Section 1373. A federal judge sided with the city last month and issued a preliminary injunction barring the USA government from denying public-safety grants.

Federal officials, though, have said that policy makes it easier for risky criminals who are in the country illegally to escape arrest.

The Justice Department began stepping up pressure on Philadelphia and several other cities in April, when it warned in a letter that a policy of not sharing information with Immigration Enforcement agents violates the terms of a police training grant. In a letter dated Wednesday, Hanson noted that the city's 2016 Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant - commonly known as JAG funding - required Philly to comply with the statute. NY banked $4.3 million from the program, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, in 2016.

The Trump administration has said enforcing immigration law is vital to national security and crime reduction.

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