Justice Department demands documents from sanctuary cities

The Department of Justice sent a letter to 23 states and cities demanding documentation that law enforcement agencies were complying with federal immigration law. The demand is just the latest salvo from the Trump administration to force sanctuary cities to assist federal immigration officials in enforcing the law.

The administration is threatening to cut funding for certain federal law enforcement programs if sanctuary cities refuse to cooperate in deportation efforts against illegal alien criminals.

The letters warned that failure to turn over the documents in question could result in subpoenas being issued.

Reuters:

The Justice Department said it was seeking records from 23 jurisdictions -- including America’s three largest cities, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as three states, California, Illinois and Oregon -- and will issue subpoenas if they do not comply fully and promptly.

The administration has accused sanctuary cities of violating a federal law that prohibits local governments from restricting information about the immigration status of people arrested from being shared with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Many of the jurisdictions have said they already are in full compliance with the law. Some sued the administration after the Justice Department threatened to cut off millions of dollars in federal public safety grants. The cities have won in lower courts, but the legal fight is ongoing.

The Republican president’s fight with the Democratic-governed sanctuary cities, an issue that appeals to his hard-line conservative supporters, began just days after he took office last year when he signed an executive order saying he would block certain funding to municipalities that failed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The order has since been partially blocked by a federal court.

“Protecting criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities defies common sense and undermines the rule of law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

Democratic mayors fired back. Some including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu protested by skipping a previously planned White House meeting on Wednesday with Trump.

“This is a destructive ploy by the Trump administration’s lawyers to politicize a routine exchange of information,” Hancock said. “I refuse to meet with the president under these kinds of threats and fearmongering.”

The courts have ruled that the federal government cannot deny states and cities funding if they meet all other criteria established by Congress. While this complicates the administration's efforts, the Justice Department is seeking evidence that the states and cities are deliberately refusing to obey the law. A few days ago, the Department of Homeland Security asked DoJ to pursue criminal charges against sanctuary states and cities who refuse to cooperate with ICE agents in rounding up criminal illegals. This frames the issue in a different light and could be the basis of a case the Feds would take to the Supreme Court.

It's hard to see states and cities handing over documents that will incriminate them. That means that subpeonas will be on the way. This sets up a classic constituional showdown between states who are seeking to nullify federal law and the government that seeks to enforce it.

 

The Department of Justice sent a letter to 23 states and cities demanding documentation that law enforcement agencies were complying with federal immigration law. The demand is just the latest salvo from the Trump administration to force sanctuary cities to assist federal immigration officials in enforcing the law.

The administration is threatening to cut funding for certain federal law enforcement programs if sanctuary cities refuse to cooperate in deportation efforts against illegal alien criminals.

The letters warned that failure to turn over the documents in question could result in subpoenas being issued.

Reuters:

The Justice Department said it was seeking records from 23 jurisdictions -- including America’s three largest cities, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as three states, California, Illinois and Oregon -- and will issue subpoenas if they do not comply fully and promptly.

The administration has accused sanctuary cities of violating a federal law that prohibits local governments from restricting information about the immigration status of people arrested from being shared with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Many of the jurisdictions have said they already are in full compliance with the law. Some sued the administration after the Justice Department threatened to cut off millions of dollars in federal public safety grants. The cities have won in lower courts, but the legal fight is ongoing.

The Republican president’s fight with the Democratic-governed sanctuary cities, an issue that appeals to his hard-line conservative supporters, began just days after he took office last year when he signed an executive order saying he would block certain funding to municipalities that failed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The order has since been partially blocked by a federal court.

“Protecting criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities defies common sense and undermines the rule of law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

Democratic mayors fired back. Some including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu protested by skipping a previously planned White House meeting on Wednesday with Trump.

“This is a destructive ploy by the Trump administration’s lawyers to politicize a routine exchange of information,” Hancock said. “I refuse to meet with the president under these kinds of threats and fearmongering.”

The courts have ruled that the federal government cannot deny states and cities funding if they meet all other criteria established by Congress. While this complicates the administration's efforts, the Justice Department is seeking evidence that the states and cities are deliberately refusing to obey the law. A few days ago, the Department of Homeland Security asked DoJ to pursue criminal charges against sanctuary states and cities who refuse to cooperate with ICE agents in rounding up criminal illegals. This frames the issue in a different light and could be the basis of a case the Feds would take to the Supreme Court.

It's hard to see states and cities handing over documents that will incriminate them. That means that subpeonas will be on the way. This sets up a classic constituional showdown between states who are seeking to nullify federal law and the government that seeks to enforce it.