DOJ to Chicago: Drop 'Sanctuary City' Laws or Lose Federal Funding

DOJ: Philly's sanctuary city policies violate federal law

"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.

DOJ says this appears to violate the federal law's provision that local governments may not restrict the sharing of information with federal authorities about immigration or citizenship status.

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

Sessions subsequently issued a memo that limited the categories of federal funding that would be in jeopardy to DOJ or Department of Homeland Security grants.

It's not the first time the Trump administration has vowed to withhold public safety grants from uncooperative cities.

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. 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.

The president cities deemed "sanctuary cities" by the Justice Department would lose law enforcement grants.




NBC10 will livestream a press conference with Mayor Jim Kenney at 4:30 p.m.

Milwaukee County and the State of CT, which did not receive letters in the initial review, were also found to be compliant. The assessment is its latest effort to force "sanctuary cities" to comply with federal immigration orders.

The jurisdictions have until October 27 to provide "additional evidence" that their laws and policies do not run afoul of the statute or face the possibility of losing federal law enforcement grants.

"I commend the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office and the State of CT on their commitment to complying with Section 1373", Sessions said, "I urge all jurisdictions found to be out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents".

Proponents of "sanctuary cities", like Kenney, say they create trust between police and immigrants, who otherwise might be afraid to report crimes.

Chicago and Cook County have until October 27 to submit a response before the DOJ makes its final determination.

The city has said its policies are legal, and vowed to sue if money is actually taken away.

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