Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Justice Department Sets Deadline for Sanctuary Cities

Justice Department Sets Deadline for Sanctuary Cities

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.

The city of Philadelphia received a letter from the Justice Department on Thursday rejecting the city's argument that its policies toward Immigration Enforcement do not violate federal law.

The Kenney administration has until October 27 to submit a response to the DOJ assessment before a final determination is made, Hanson wrote.

The Trump administration has sought to punish sanctuary cities since January, when it issued an executive order to pull federal funding from any jurisdiction that limited cooperation with immigration authorities.

In September, a federal judge in Chicago enjoined Sessions' order nationwide, blocking the directive from taking effect while the courts evaluate the case.

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

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber last month granted Emanuel a nationwide preliminary injunction preventing the Justice Department from applying new rules to grant recipients requiring them to cooperate with immigration agents to get the money. 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".


The Justice Department also found Chicago, New Orleans, New York City and Cook County, Illinois, to be in violation.

Milwaukee County and the State of CT, which did not receive letters in the initial review, were also found to be compliant.

"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".

DOJ points to two other provisions on the books in the city, one that bars city employees from disclosing confidential information including immigration status - though that rule has an exception when disclosure is required by law - and one that says Department of Correction shouldn't spend time on the job responding to federal immigration inquiries.

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, long outspoken in support of hardline immigration policies, left his post in August to become a top advisor to the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.

The section Sessions references, Section 1373, is a federal statute barring local and state governments from limiting communication regarding residents' immigration or citizenship status with federal officials.

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