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Justice Dept. tells 9 sanctuary cities grant money at risk

Justice Dept. tells 9 sanctuary cities grant money at risk

Justice Dept. tells 9 sanctuary cities grant money at risk

The Justice Department is forcing nine communities to prove they are complying with an immigration law to continue receiving coveted law enforcement grant money.

In a letter sent to the California Board of State and Community Corrections, the acting attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice, Alan Hanson, said California is at risk of losing federal funds if it does not cooperate with federal immigration authorities seeking to detain and possibly deport undocumented people.

Harten's letter said the jurisdictions must submit documentation showing that they are in compliance with federal law.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a White House briefing in March that local jurisdictions that apply for Justice Department grants will be required to certify they are in compliance, as was first required by an Obama administration policy put out last summer.

The bitter back and forth came as DOJ officials are warned they'll withhold the money NY is entitled to from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program if city officials don't prove they're complying with the law.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has warned the administration will punish communities that won't cooperate with efforts to find and deport immigrants in the US illegally. money.

The report pointed to a Milwaukee County rule that immigration detention requests be honored only if the person has been convicted of one felony or two misdemeanors, has been charged with domestic violence or drunken driving, is a gang member, or is on a terrorist watch list, among other constraints. That means it will hold people for an extra 48 hours, long enough to be arrested by immigration authorities.

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The grant the Justice Department would yank from cities like NY is the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which gives local police departments funding for a range of programs.

Zach Butterworth, Mayor Mitch Landrieu's executive counsel and director of federal relations, said the city drafted its policies in consultation with federal immigration and Homeland Security officials.

Donald Trump's Justice Department on Friday ratcheted up the pressure on Chicago and other so-called sanctuary cities.

A Justice Department statement accompanying the letters also claimed that illegal immigration into the U.S. has served to increase crime these cities.

The grants under threat-which amounted to roughly $24.5 million for Chicago previous year, according to the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, -go in most part to law enforcement efforts. Sessions said earlier this week that sanctuary cities undermine efforts to fight violent gangs.

Both the city and county support legal efforts challenging Trump's executive order on sanctuary cities.

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