Sanctuary cities face loss of federal grant money
- Author: Larry Hoffman Apr 22, 2017,
Apr 22, 2017, 20:30
The Justice Department said Chicago and other "sanctuary cities" have until June 30 to provide documentation proving that they are cooperating with federal immigration authorities or may lose public safety and other federal grants.
The Justice Department sent letters Friday to nine jurisdictions warning it would withhold coveted law enforcement grant money unless they document cooperation.
The statute, 8 USC § 1373, prohibits local and state governments from enacting laws or policies that limit communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Customs and Border Protection about "information regarding the immigration or citizenship status".
Some of the localities remain defiant, despite risking the loss of money that police agencies use to pay for everything from body cameras to bulletproof vests.
He says the Trump administration's grandstanding is out of touch with reality. The department cited the rise in murders in Chicago and said New York City ― which has seen record low levels of crime ― "continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable effect of the city's "soft on crime" stance".
New York's murder tally is one of the lowest in the nation, according to data collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Los Angeles Democrat says the administration's targeting of diverse cities and states goes beyond constitutional norms and will continue to be challenged. In New York City, violence has been on the downtrend for decades. They were highlighted in a May 2016 report by the Justice Department's inspector general that found they have policies or rules that interfere with information-sharing among local law enforcement and immigration agents.
Officials in Philadelphia, Milwaukee County and Cook County said they believed they were complying with immigration laws.
"I like to think of myself as a pretty calm and measured person, and I think most of the time I present myself that way".
The letters were authored by Alan R. Hanson, the acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Justice Programs, which distributes Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant grants that support local law enforcement. O'Neill issued a statement earlier, pointing out the steady decline in overall crime throughout the city. New York City, one of the municipalities that received a DOJ letter on the matter, was criticized by the department for having a "soft on crime stance". "My far greater concern is the proactive dissemination of misinformation, fear, and intolerance", said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.