DOJ gives last chance warning to NYC for sanctuary city policies

Sessions calls for crackdown on asylum policies

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The feds are giving what they call a "last chance" warning to NY that the city's immigrant-friendly policies may cost it federal grants.

In a letter to the Malloy administration this week a top DOJ official said he found "no evidence that the State of CT is now out of compliance" with the information-sharing requirement.

The Justice Department review brought better news for others.

President Trump vowed to strip federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities, which refuse to assist with enforcement and deportation against undocumented immigrants.

A federal law known by the shorthand 1373 requires local police to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally for several days until investigators from Immigration and Customs Enforcement can intervene, even if the crime they're accused of is minor, or no charges are filed. The city argued the federal policy is forcing the city to choose between its constitutional rights and funding for law enforcement.

Seth Stein, a spokesman for New York City, said the mayor's office was "prepared to fight to protect critical public safety funding".

The cities of New York, Philadelphia and New Orleans are also out of compliance with federal law, according to the DOJ.

"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. Those cities were given a deadline of October 27 to provide the Justice Department with documentation proving their existing laws and law enforcement practices are in line with federal immigration policy.

NY refuses requests by the feds, known as detainers, to hold undocumented immigrants arrested for most crimes and turn them over for possible deportation.

The section Sessions references, Section 1373, is a federal statute barring local and state governments from limiting communication regarding residents' immigration or citizenship status with federal officials.

The executive order, signed by Kenney on January 4, 2016, directs Philadelphia police to disregard detainer requests unless they are supported by a judicial warrant and involve a person being released after conviction for a first- or second-degree violent felony.

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.

In August, the city of Chicago sued Sessions over its efforts to stop federal money from going to sanctuary cities through Byrne Justice Assistance Grants. It cleared Madison, Wisconsin and the state of CT of any sanctuary city wrongdoing, joining Clark County, Nevada and Miami-Dade County, Florida, which had been previously exonerated.

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