Four US 'sanctuary cities' may be violating law - US Attorney General

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Cities and states with "sanctuary policies" have 15 days to provide evidence of compliance with federal immigration laws, the US Department of Justice has announced, singling out five jurisdictions including Chicago and NY.

New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia join Chicago and Cook County in remaining out of compliance, the Justice Department said. The DOJ sent letters to five jurisdictions, including Chicago and Cook County, warning that local officials need to send evidence by October 27 that shows they are cooperating with the Trump administration's demands in terms of increasing cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigrant agents.

It comes after suggestions from Washington that New Orleans was a so-called "sanctuary city" that attempted to shield illegal immigrants from federal enforcement.

In April, a presidential executive order that would have cut off funds to sanctuary cities was stymied by a judge's order.

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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. Immigration is a federal matter. If implemented, the policies would also ban states from receiving grants provided by the DOJ and Homeland Security if they are found to be "sanctuary cities".

Justice Department spokespeople did not immediately respond to questions Thursday about whether the agency might attempt to get back the Byrne grant money the city and county received in 2016. It determined Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and CT to be in compliance.

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. ". We urge jurisdictions to not only comply with Section 1373 but to establish sensible and effective partnerships to properly process criminal aliens".

Some cities say they will only honor detainers accompanied by criminal warrants, and that compliance with the requests is voluntary and not required under the statute.

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The sanctuary jurisdictions say they are following the law, which says local authorities can not prevent information exchange with federal immigration agents about people's immigration status.

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

The latest dispute stems from an order Sessions issued in July that requires jurisdictions to honor federal immigration detention requests in order to be eligible for certain justice assistance grants.

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

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