US Justice Department Threatens to Subpoena So-Called Sanctuary Cities, Many in California

26 January, 2018, 02:44 | Author: Kim Reid
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The Justice Department repeatedly has threatened to deny millions of dollars in important grant money from communities that refuse to share such information with federal authorities, as part of the Trump administration's promised crackdown on cities and states that refuse to help enforce US immigration laws.

However, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the mayors can not "pick and choose what laws they want to follow".

"The State of OR is in compliance with federal law", Schmidt wrote.

Twenty-three jurisdictions received letters Wednesday, including the states of Illinois, Oregon, and California.

New York City's Bill de Blasio and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu are among the city leaders who say they will no longer attend Wednesday's meeting on infrastructure and other issues.

A crackdown on sanctuary jurisdictions was one of the first measures ordered by Trump a year ago, and Sessions has repeatedly focused on the policies, which he says are a hazard to public safety.

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"The mayors that chose to boycott this event have put the needs of criminal-illegal immigrants over law-abiding Americans", President Trump said after de Blasio and dozens of other mayors opted not to attend the scheduled event. The department adds that failure to comply may also result in the Justice Department attempting to repossess funds given out in the 2016 cycles and denying grants in the current cycle for fiscal year 2017. Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to issue subpoenas if city governments fail to comply with the order (Fox News).

"As a reminder to our community, every step we take and the role of our law enforcement is to maintain the highest level of safety for all our people including our immigrants".

For example, the Supreme Court has said that conditions may not be imposed on federal grants unless they are "unambiguously" stated in the statute "so that the States can knowingly decide whether or not to accept those funds" with the attached conditions and restrictions.

The mayor said that cities work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) all the time and it's unclear what actions the administration wants cities to take about sanctuary cities.

"We will keep defending public safety in Burlington, standing up to federal overreach and standing up for values", said the city's mayor, Miro Weinberger.

Indeed, notes Banzhaf, the only requirement applicable federal law imposes, under 8 U.S.C. 1373, is that state and local officials not prohibit or restrict employees from providing "information regarding citizenship or immigration status".

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Sanders reiterated that the White House did "not support" sanctuary cities and instead supports "enforcing and following the law", noting that the Department of Justice was just doing its job.

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, a Democrat who represents most of Palm Beach County, called the letter "outrageous".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent letters to 23 jurisdictions seeking a wide range of documents showing they are not withholding information about the immigration status of people in law enforcement custody.

"In a city with a large proportion of immigrants and refugees, such enforcement "is not keeping our city safe" and discourages people from cooperating with the police, Sheehan added".

"Documents will be provided as required by Florida public records laws", she said.

"The Justice Department said it has previously contacted all of the jurisdictions on its list but said it is not satisfied that they are in compliance with the law", Reuters reports. "We've got to start charging some of these politicians with crimes", Homan said. "Shielding criminal outsiders from government migration experts opposes sound judgment and undermines the control of law".

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