City officials discuss New Orleans compliance on federal immigration law

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez make a plea to ICE to stop conducting raids in New York courthouses

City officials discuss New Orleans compliance on federal immigration law

New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Cook County, which includes Chicago and its near suburbs, were found to be in potential violation of 8 USC 1373, a federal statute that bars local jurisdictions from limiting communication with the federal authorities about a person's immigration status.

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

The Department of Justice is once again threatening to cut off funding for Philadelphia if the city maintains its sanctuary status.

Federal and local officials have battled over sanctuary city protections not only as a matter of law, but one of finance: The Trump administration has threatened to deny uncooperative cities funding from Washington if they don't comply. Critics have dubbed such places "sanctuary cities".

The DOJ assessment found an executive order signed by Kenney on his inauguration day and a 16-year-old police memorandum signed by former Police Commissioner John Timoney violate the federal statute.

Offending cities and states stand to lose money from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (or JAG grant), which provided Philadelphia with $1.6 million in 2016 to spend on police overtime, training, equipment, courtroom technology and other aspects of the criminal justice system.

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

The Justice Department said it had found no evidence that four other jurisdictions - Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Clark County, Nevada, Miami-Dade County, Florida and the State of CT - were in violation of the statue, known as Section 1373. ". We urge jurisdictions to not only comply with Section 1373 but to establish sensible and effective partnerships to properly process criminal aliens".

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The NOPD policy that the DOJ has challenged says that officers "shall not make inquiries into an individual's immigration status", unless they have a reason to ask.

The police memo, dated May 17, 2001, is created to encourage immigrants to utilize city services without fear of reprisal. Requiring New Orleans Police to demand information about immigration status, local officials argued, would only lead to immigrants fearing and mistrusting police, rather than cooperating with them.

The sanctuary jurisdictions say they are following the law, which says local authorities can not prevent information exchange with federal immigration agents about people's immigration status.

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

The city has said its policies are legal, and vowed to sue if money is actually taken away.

The Kenney administration received the letter Thursday and is still reviewing it, spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said.

Mayor de Blasio has defended the sanctuary city policy saying he won't turn the NYPD into a deportation force that breaks apart families.

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