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Mayor Kenney keeping Philadelphia a sanctuary city despite DOJ warning

Mayor Kenney keeping Philadelphia a sanctuary city despite DOJ warning

The Justice Department on Thursday issued a statement saying New Orleans, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia have until October 27 to show they are complying with longstanding federal law that says cities can't hinder information sharing with immigration agents.

This week, the Justice Department sent letters to top city and county officials, including Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Mayor James Kenney and City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante have commented on a Department of Justice's (DOJ) letter addressing Philadelphia's certification of compliance to immigration laws.

"As we have maintained for years, the Department of Justice has confirmed that we are in full compliance with 8 U.S.C. ยง 1373", Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

This is a developing story.

"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 to The Post. JAG stands for Justice Assistance Grant. NY banked $4.3 million from the program, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, in 2016.

New Orleans demonstrators rallied to support DACA and immigrant communities in September.

Connecticut's friendly stance toward undocumented immigrants has placed it under increased scrutiny during the Trump administration, which has pledged to take a more hard-line stance on illegal immigration. U.S.C. 1373 - states that a federal, state or local government entity can not restrict any government entity from "sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual".

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The Justice Department is calling it a "last chance" for local governments to demonstrate they are in compliance.

Wednesday's letter demanded that the city certify that police officers aren't prohibited from contacting federal immigration authorities to ask about an individual's immigration status.

Kenney has been an ardent supporter of Philadelphia's "sanctuary city" policies.

Sanctuary cities can be denied federal dollars under President Trump's January 25 executive order created to crack down on localities that protect undocumented immigrants from federal immigration authorities.

The letter is the latest salvo in a protracted battle between the Trump administration, with its hardline immigration policies, and city officials, who have insisted their sanctuary policies on undocumented immigrants make the city safer and do not break the law.

New Orleans and the other cities have until Oct. 27 to prove compliance, the department said Thursday (Oct. 12).

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.

At issue, according to the Justice Department letter, are city and county restrictions on cooperation with federal agents to determine the "immigration status of any person".


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