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Feds tell New Orleans it's not a sanctuary city, says mayor

Feds tell New Orleans it's not a sanctuary city, says mayor”

In the ongoing battle against sanctuary cities, the Justice Department on Thursday said it is giving Chicago and Cook County more time - until October 27 - to comply with Trump administration immigration enforcement policies before yanking federal crime fighting grants.

News reports that Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and New Orleans have "laws, policies or practices" that violate a federal statute requiring that local governments comply with federal immigration officials in deporting suspected undocumented immigrants in local jails, according to a Justice Department news release.

"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.

President Donald Trump, of course, has made immigration crackdowns - from deportations to increased border patrols to travel restrictions - a signature part of his first months in office after campaigning heavily on the issue a year ago.

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

Landrieu and other city officials have repeatedly denied that New Orleans is a "sanctuary city" and have contested previous findings by the Sessions Justice Department with letters certifying that NOPD is in compliance with federal law.

The Landrieu administration didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.

The Justice Department has threatened to cut off federal dollars to New York City if it doesn't change its policies.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has officially listed New Orleans as a city that li...

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.

The Trump administration's Justice Department, however, apparently have dismissed the city's earlier responses.

In addition, Philadelphia is suing over other new requirements for policing grants that Sessions imposed on cities in July, aimed at punishing sanctuary cities. Proponents have argued that enlisting street-level police to enforce national immigration policy makes it harder for them to investigate and stop crimes, because undocumented immigrants won't cooperate if they think they will be deported.

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

City leaders have long maintained that fostering a good relationship between the police department and immigrant communities will help keep the city safer.



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