WASHINGTON November 16, 2017 – The Department of Justice issued letters to 29 jurisdictions Wednesday threatening to withhold federal law enforcement grant money over these jurisdictions’ supposed non-compliance with a federal law that prohibits policies that restrict the sharing of “information regarding . . . citizenship or immigration status.”
The letter established a deadline of December 8 for the localities to demonstrate their compliance with the law, 8 USC 1373.
Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union, said:
“Once again, the Trump administration is using lawless threats in an attempt to strong-arm local jurisdictions into helping the administration detain and deport as many immigrants as possible and trample on Americans’ civil rights in the process.
“Local communities and local law enforcement have very good reasons for not abandoning their ongoing responsibilities and sensible practices to the deportation agenda of the Trump administration. Safe and smart local pro-immigrant policies in these jurisdictions protect all people, including non-citizens, while maintaining the rule of law and upholding the Constitution. While Attorney General Sessions tried to claim that his threats against these jurisdictions are driven by public safety concerns, we know that the opposite is true — for example, so-called sanctuary jurisdictions have lower rates of crime than non-sanctuary jurisdictions.
“Attorney General Sessions also is on the wrong side of the law. In fact, on the same day that the Department of Justice issued the 29 new letters, a federal judge in Philadelphia issued the latest ruling exposing the administration’s threats as baseless and illegal.”