DOJ certifies New Orleans in full compliance with Federal immigration law

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

President Donald Trump's Justice Department this week sent letters contending Chicago and Cook County violated federal immigration laws previous year when they were awarded public safety grants.

New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia join Chicago and Cook County in remaining out of compliance, the Justice Department said. But as the administration's attempts to withhold broader swathes of federal funding from sanctuary cities have been consistently challenged in court, the DOJ has honed in on smaller targets: namely, the $1.67 million policing grant issued past year, which the city has used for overtime and police training. Landrieu added that the letter failed to note that the NOPD policy "does "not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, [ICE] information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.'" "As such, we continue to state unambiguously that [NOPD policy] does not restrict officers and employees from requesting information regarding immigration status from federal immigration officers", Landrieu said".

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. The Byrne grant applications "required you to comply" with the federal rules, according to the letters dated Wednesday from Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson and posted on the Justice Department Website.

Las Vegas shooting: Marilou Danley's relatives speak out
Police reported that in 3 different locations, including hotel room of paddock, 47 weapons were seized from attacker's search. She added Danley was likely "even (more) shocked than us" by his actions.

City and county officials did not immediately say how they would respond to the letters. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry also has pounced on New Orleans over the issue in the wake of Trump's immigration policies. "Unfortunately, the Mayor has ignored my many warnings and continued to risk the safety, security, and funding of our State's citizens". The pair have threatened to cut off federal funding to the cities - which include Hartford and New Haven - but so far that hasn't happened. One of the primary battles is that of Chicago's "sanctuary city" status. Immigration is a federal matter. The mayor called those comments "just plain wrong". As much as I would be tempted to allow sanctuary cities to secede from the nation, it's probably better to keep the country together, as Abraham Lincoln once said.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber's ruling comes a month after he imposed a preliminary injunction blocking the administration from tying the grants to two new conditions, including that cities give immigration agents easy access to local jails. Landrieu and NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison also have argued that targeting people through immigration status makes vulnerable communities less likely to report crimes and work with law enforcement. Several agencies and local governments in California had sued over the order.

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