Sanctuary Cities Threatened With Loss Of Federal Grant Money

In the face of funding cuts and a hostile immigration policy brought in by Donald Trump's new administration, communities and leaders in Sanctuary cities have vowed to remain steadfast in their opposition to federal threats and continue to be accommodating to refugees.

Chicago-area officials are dismissing a Justice Department letter ordering it to comply with federal immigration enforcement or risk losing grant money. "After a raid captured 11 MS-13 members on charges including murder, extortion and drug trafficking, 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", said the DOJ release.

"Failure to comply with this condition could result in the withholding of grant funds, suspension or termination of the grant, ineligibility for future (Office of Justice Programs) grants or subgrants, or other action, as appropriate", said Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson in the letters.

Many of these localities say they do not have the funding or space to hold immigrants until federal agents can take custody of them. We have to go into courthouses.

"We're working with members on both sides of the aisle in both chambers to find a way forward", Spicer said.

Leaders in Chicago and Cook County, which shared a grant of more than $2.3 million in 2016, dismissed the threat.

New York City has seen historically low crime rates in recent years.

New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the "soft on crime" statement made his blood boil.

The Democratic mayor called the "soft on crime" characterization "absolutely outrageous".

He said his police department, by far the nation's largest, locked up more than 1,000 people in 100 gang takedowns a year ago.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions engaged in a war of words on Friday over a Department of Justice statement accusing the city of being "soft on crime".

The jurisdictions also include Clark County, Nevada; Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

The Justice Department has given the nine sanctuary jurisdictions until June 30 to act in accordance with the law.

Emanuel, a White House chief of staff in the Obama administration, has beefed up the city's efforts to protect immigrants living in the country illegally, including establishing a legal fund with taxpayer money to help those facing deportation.

That prompted Preet Bharara, the former US attorney for New York's Southern District, to question why the Justice Department "would ignorantly malign" the New York Police Department.

Justice Department records show New Orleans received almost $266,000 in grant money through the program in fiscal 2016.

Zach Butterworth says the city has no problem and drafted its policies in consultation with federal immigration and homeland security officials.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu's executive counsel and director of federal relations said the city reviewed a letter Friday from the Justice Department. "I think we feel confident that that will happen, that we will avoid a shutdown".

Other places also insisted they were in compliance.

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