Justice Dept. tells 9 sanctuary cities grant money at risk

The Department of Justice sent letters to representatives of nine jurisdictions-including two in Chicago-threatening to cut off funds if they don't allow local law enforcement to cooperate freely with immigration enforcement and asking for proof of steps taken. And it said that after a raid on MS-13 members in the Bay Area, "city officials seemed more concerned with reassuring illegal immigrants that the raid was unrelated to immigration than with warning other MS-13 members that they were next".

A Justice Department statement accompanying the letters also claimed that illegal immigration into the U.S. has served to increase crime these cities.

The Trump administration sent letters to nine jurisdictions in its conflict with sanctuary cities, communities that refuse to comply with federal immigration authorities. "Federal threats to take away resources from law enforcement or our people in an attempt to bully states and localities into carrying out the new administration's unsound deportation plan are reckless and jeopardize public safety".

The mayor and police commissioner ripped into the Justice Department's characterization of a New York City that is "soft on crime".

According to the Justice Department, the amount of grants ranged from Las Vegas, which received $11,537 to California, which received $10.4 million split among 128 jurisdictions.

"New York is the safest big city in the country, with crime at record lows in large part because we have policies in place to encourage cooperation between NYPD and immigrant communities", said Seth Stein, a spokesman for New York City mayor Bill DiBlasio.

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In California, Attorney General Xavier Becerra suggested the state would not comply with the demand letter from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Both the city and county support legal efforts challenging Trump's executive order on sanctuary cities.

The Justice Department ramped up its threat to so-called "sanctuary cities" on Friday: Fork over immigration information on individuals arrested or lose federal funding.

"It has become abundantly clear that Attorney General Sessions and the Trump administration are basing their law enforcement policies on principles of white supremacy - not American values", he said. It was reviewing the Justice Department's letter. "Their constant and systematic targeting of diverse cities and states goes beyond constitutional norms and will be challenged at every level". Justice said each had been identified in a 2016 inspector general report as having laws that may violate federal law. Ultimately what they're doing is conflating immigrants with criminality,"she said".

Zach Butterworth says the city has no problem and drafted its policies in consultation with federal immigration and homeland security officials. "My far greater concern is the proactive dissemination of misinformation, fear and intolerance", said Milwaukee County executive Chris Abele.

What that generally means is that each jurisdiction has passed regulations limiting how much their law enforcement officials with cooperate with immigration agents.

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