Saturday, 24 February, 2018

Justice Department Threatens LA, California, Other 'Sanctuary' Jurisdictions With Subpoenas

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Nellie Chapman | 25 January, 2018, 06:29

Sessions suggested that blocking information flows served to protect criminal immigrants and undermine "the rule of law", adding, "We have seen too many examples of the threat to public safety represented by jurisdictions that actively thwart the federal government's immigration enforcement - enough is enough".

"All documents reflecting any orders, directives, instructions, or guidance to your law enforcement employees (including, but not limited to, police officers, correctional officers, and contract employees), whether formal or informal, that were distributed, produced, and/or in effect during the relevant timeframe, regarding whether and how these employees may, or may not, communicate with the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and/or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or their agents, whether directly or indirectly".

"We've given them federal dollars - your taxpayer dollars - to cooperate with federal law enforcement", DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores told Fox News Wednesday.

In letters to major cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, the DOJ requested documents relating to how their policies fall in line with 8 USC 1373, a section of federal law that prohibits jurisdictions from enacting laws that restrict communication between local officials and federal immigration authorities. So far such efforts have been blocked in court.

Democratic mayors fired back. "I refuse to meet with the president under these kinds of threats and fearmongering".

Speaking from the opening press conference of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called the DOJ's move "insulting" and "dangerous".

Along with New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, the jurisdictions the Justice Department is targeting in this latest action include the states of Illinois, California and OR and the capital cities of Albany, New York, Sacramento, California and Jackson, Mississippi.

In the 2016 fiscal year, the 23 jurisdictions received about $39 million in the public safety grants, which are now jeopardized in the current dispute.

De Blasio, at his news conference later, said, "on the very day where, in principle, they were telling us they wanted to have an honest dialogue, this proves there was no intention to have an honest dialogue".

Trump responded by accusing the boycotting mayors of putting the needs of "criminal illegal immigrants over law-abiding Americans". Like we've done in our lawsuit against the Trump Justice Department for attempting to use a federal public safety grant to blackmail cities like Chicago, we will continue to stand up for Chicago's residents and our principles.

In the Chicago case, a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction, which the administration is appealing, barring the Justice Department from withholding this grant money, which is typically used to help local police improve crime-fighting techniques, buy equipment and assist crime victims.