Trump's DOJ Threatens to Subpoena 'Sanctuary Cities'

Monica Sanchez | January 24, 2018
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The Department of Justice on Wednesday put 23 jurisdictions on notice, threatening to subpoena them if they fail to provide documentation on their “sanctuary” policies.

If they cannot prove that they are in compliance with federal law mandating that they cooperate with federal immigration enforcement, the DOJ says it will strip said jurisdictions of current and/or future funding. 

In a statement, the Justice Department states that it issued a request for documents “that could show whether each jurisdiction is unlawfully restricting information sharing by its law enforcement officers with federal immigration authorities.”

According to Fox News, the letter sent by the DOJ asks for documents “reflecting any orders, directives, instructions, or guidance to your law enforcement employees” about how to “communicate with the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and/or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement urged the jurisdictions to “reconsider policies that place the safety of their communities and their residents at risk.”

“Protecting criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities defies common sense and undermines the rule of law,” he said. “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.”

If the jurisdictions can’t prove that they are in compliance with federal statute 8 U.S.C. 1373, the DOJ says it will be “seeking the return of FY2016 grants, requiring additional conditions for receipt of any FY2017 Byrne JAG funding, and/or jurisdictions being deemed ineligible to receive FY2017 Byrne JAG funding.”

The 23 jurisdictions were previously contacted by the DOJ due to concerns that they were violating section 1373, the DOJ states.

The following jurisdictions received the document request on Wednesday, according to the Justice Department:

  • Chicago, Illinois;
  • Cook County, Illinois;
  • New York City, New York;
  • State of California;
  • Albany, New York;
  • Berkeley, California;
  • Bernalillo County, New Mexico;
  • Burlington, Vermont;
  • City and County of Denver, Colorado;
  • Fremont, California;
  • Jackson, Mississippi;
  • King County, Washington;
  • Lawrence, Massachusetts;
  • City of Los Angeles, California;
  • Louisville Metro, Kentucky;
  • Monterey County, California;
  • Sacramento County, California;
  • City and County of San Francisco, California;
  • Sonoma County, California;
  • Watsonville, California;
  • West Palm Beach, Florida;
  • State of Illinois; and
  • State of Oregon.

The announcement has prompted mayors such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to boycott a working meeting with President Trump at the White House on Wednesday.

The White House said the meeting would still take place regardless.

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