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Sessions and DOJ Give Sanctuary Cities “Last Chance” to Comply

The Justice Department posted a press release on October 12 noting that the DOJ has provided a “last chance” for “sanctuary cities” to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 — “Communication between government agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.”

The first paragraph of the law reads:

Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.

The DOJ statement named five jurisdictions that have preliminarily been found to have laws, policies, or practices that may violate 8 U.S.C. 1373:

Cook County, Illinois;

Chicago, Illinois;

New Orleans, Louisiana;

New York, New York; and

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The statement also cleared two other jurisdictions — Milwaukee County, Wisconsin and the State of Connecticut, about which the Justice Department has found no evidence of being out of compliance with 8 U.S.C. 1373. DOJ said it has also previously sent letters to two jurisdictions notifying them that the department found no evidence that they are currently out of compliance with 8 U.S.C. 1373: Clark County, Nevada and Miami-Dade County, Florida.

“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,” the DOJ release quoted Attorney General Jeff Sessions as saying. “I commend the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office and the State of Connecticut on their commitment to complying with Section 1373, and I urge all jurisdictions found to be out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents. We urge jurisdictions to not only comply with Section 1373 but to establish sensible and effective partnerships to properly process criminal aliens.”

The release stated that jurisdictions that were found to have possible violations of 8 U.S.C 1373 will have until Oct. 27, 2017 to provide additional evidence that the interpretation and application of their laws, policies, or practices comply with the statute.

NBCNews noted in a report that President Trump issued an executive order in January aimed at cutting off funding from sanctuary cities, but the order has been in legal limbo after a judge issued a nationwide injunction in April. An earlier report from NBC News on April 26 said that Federal District Court Judge William Orrick had issued an order the previous day prohibiting the White House from withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities.

Orrick issued a nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by San Francisco and nearby Santa Clara County. Orrick said the executive order was unconstitutional because it imposed conditions on federal funds already issued or approved.

However, noted NBCNews, the judge’s order does not completely forbid the federal government to withhold grant money from uncooperative cities. The report said an existing

 if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.


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