Trump Justice Department says Chicago violated immigration rules on earlier grant

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

In a notice reviewed by Fox News, the DOJ announced that five jurisdictions "have preliminarily been found to have laws, policies, or practices that may violate" a key federal statute concerning cooperation with federal immigration officials.

City and county officials did not immediately say how they would respond to the letters.

The Justice Department says the cities are specifically violating the federal statute called 8 U.S.C. 1373.

"Under my Administration, the New Orleans Police Department has and will continue to follow all federal laws; however, the NOPD will not be the federal government's deportation force". They have until October 27 to show they're in compliance.

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The Justice Department has threatened to cut off federal funding to boost law enforcement in cities that do not comply with the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to identify and deport undocumented immigrants. The Byrne grant applications "required you to comply" with the federal rules, according to the letters dated Wednesday from Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson and posted on the Justice Department Website.

A letter from the Justice Department released Thursday said officials believe NY is violating a law requiring cooperation on immigration enforcement - one of four cities put on notice they were out of compliance.

The DOJ said it was the "last chance" for jurisdictions to comply. Big-city mayors including New York's Bill de Blasio and Chicago's Rahm Emanuel have openly defied federal instructions to turn in undocumented immigrants.

Kenney has been an ardent supporter of Philadelphia's "sanctuary city" policies.

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Two other jurisdictions that were asked to prove their compliance with the law - Milwaukee County and the state of CT - were cleared in the letters released Thursday.

Seth Stein, a spokesman for New York City, said the mayor's office was "prepared to fight to protect critical public safety funding". U.S.C. 1373 - states that a federal, state or local government entity can not restrict any government entity from "sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual". Requiring New Orleans Police to demand information about immigration status, local officials argued, would only lead to immigrants fearing and mistrusting police, rather than cooperating with them.

In a separate case filed by several cities and counties in California, the Justice Department in a June filing acknowledged that immigration detainer requests are voluntary, and that Sessions had not said that non-compliance with detainer requests would count as a breach of Section 1373.

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