(National Sentinel)Â Immigration Deformed: The Department of Justice on Wednesday warned 23 so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions they will face legal action in federal court unless they reverse policies that shield illegal immigrants from deportation.
As reported byÂ The Daily Caller, DoJ sent letters to several major cities including Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles requesting documents that prove they are in compliance with federal immigration laws.
In particular, sanctuary jurisdictions have to prove they are complying with 8 United States Code 1373, a section of the federal statutes that prohibit cities and jurisdictions from enacting laws restricting communication between local officials and federal immigration agents.
Previously, the Justice Department sent similar requests to the 23 jurisdictions, but department officials said the responses they got back didn’t provide enough information to prove or confirm compliance with Section 1373.
â€œI continue to urge all jurisdictions under review to reconsider policies that place the safety of their communities and their residents at risk,â€ Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. â€œProtecting criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities defies common sense and undermines the rule of law.â€
Jurisdictions that fail to provide information requested by the DoJ by Feb. 23 will then receive a federal subpoena compelling the cities to provide documentation, the letters said.
The DC noted further:
The DOJ has tried to pressure sanctuary cities by threatening to withhold certain federal funds, as part of the Trump administrationâ€™s broader crackdown on illegal immigration. Last year, Sessions revised the eligibility guidelines for Byrne criminal justice grants, requiring applicants to honor federal immigration detention requests, give immigration agents unfettered access to local jails, and comply with Section 1373.
In response to a lawsuit from the city of Chicago, a federal judge blocked the first two rules, but allowed the Section 1373 requirement to stand. The DOJ letters sent Tuesday specifically tying future Byrne grants to compliance with the section.
â€œFailure to comply with section 1373 could result in the Justice Department 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,â€ the DoJ said.
The affected jurisdictions are:
Chicago; Cook County, Ill.; New York City; the state of California; Albany, N.Y.; Berkeley, Calif.; Bernalillo County, N.M.; Burlington, Vt.; the city and county of Denver, Colo.; Â Fremont, Calif.; Jackson, Miss.; King County, Wash.; Lawrence, Mass.;Â City of Los Angeles, Calif.; Louisville, Ky.; Monterey County, Calif.; Sacramento County, Calif.; theÂ city and county of San Francisco; Sonoma County, Calif.; Watsonville, Calif.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; the state of Illinois and the state of Oregon.
â€œWeâ€™ve given them federal dollars â€” your taxpayer dollars â€” to cooperate with federal law enforcement,â€ DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores told Fox News. â€œThey didnâ€™t have to take that money, but they did.
“And when they took it, they said they would comply with federal law. So what weâ€™re saying is if we find out youâ€™re not complying with federal law, weâ€™re taking the tax dollars back,” she added.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Thomas Homan has said the department should find a way to prosecution local officials if they continue to block federal enforcement of immigration laws.
Earlier this month,Â Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson confirmed during a Senate hearing that her agency had indeed been in contact with federal prosecutors to see what legal actions could be taken against local officials who implement and uphold sanctuary laws.
Also, ICE and other immigration enforcement agencies are planning to send hundreds of agents to sanctuary cities in an effort to identify those in the country illegally and deport them.
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