DOJ Demands Documents From Burlington Over 'Sanctuary Policies,' Threatens Subpoena

DOJ Demands Documents From Burlington Over 'Sanctuary Policies,' Threatens Subpoena

The Department of Justice sent out letters to 23 jurisdictions with welcoming city ordinances demanding documents that prove they are not unlawfully restricting information sharing by its law enforcement officers with federal immigration authorities.

"When jurisdictions do not share information with federal immigration authorities, there is a commitment in essence to return criminal aliens back to the street as opposed to allowing them to be apprehended by ICE and placed in removal proceedings", the official added.

She reaffirmed her determination to face a possible jail punishment for carrying out the sanctuary cities policy in Oakland, a major port city of California on the US west coast. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, the prevailing question is how the feds will, if they will at all, punish sanctuary cities, and which side - Denver or Trump - has better legal grounding when it comes to Denver's non-cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

"If mayors have a problem with that, they should talk to Congress, the people that pass the laws", Sanders said. He added that the letters were sent after a review conducted by the department's inspector general, which had evaluated whether many jurisdictions were still eligible for federal dollars based on their compliance with the statute.

Chicago is just one of two dozen cities, states and counties that the Trump Justice Department is warning.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said he rejected the invitation after the DOJ "decided to renew their racist assault on our immigrant communities".

The letter from the Department of Justice - which also went to Fremont, Los Angeles, Monterey County, Sacramento County, Sonoma County and Watsonville - was an escalation of a bitter battle between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and pro-sanctuary jurisdictions that receive federal crime-fighting grants.

The latest salvo in the ongoing disagreement over sanctuary cities-localities that don't report immigration status of arrestees to federal officials-provoked strong reaction from the mayors, who ultimately chose to skip a scheduled meeting with the President.

Mayors of some of the largest USA cities skipped a White House event after the Justice Department threatened to subpoena almost two dozen "sanctuary cities" to show they are complying with federal immigration laws.

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Schaaf called the new Justice Department threat directed against sanctuary cities as "unconscionable" and "un-American", according to the KPIX 5 report. "You guys wouldn't be allowed to do that in your own networks and outlets, and the federal government can not allow people to act independently and completely ignore the law".

"I keep on urging all wards under survey to rethink strategies that place the security of their groups and their inhabitants in danger", Sessions said Wednesday in a composed explanation.

At the White House meeting Wednesday, Trump attacked the mayors who chose not to attend.

Officials at the DOJ remain concerned that Oregon's laws, policies and practices may violate conditions of federal grant funding, Jon Adler, director of the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, wrote in the letter. On Wednesday, Sessions threatened to subpoena 23 jurisdictions to produce documents showing whether they are cooperating lawfully with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

San Francisco's new interim Mayor Mike Farrell also responded to the letter.

The letter gave Bernalillo County a February 23 deadline to turn over the requested records.

The Associated Press reports that mayors from across the USA boycotted a White House meeting on infrastructure Wednesday in response to the letters. "No number of threatening letters will change the fact that we are in compliance with federal law, nor will we be bullied or intimidated into betraying our immigrant community".

Locally, Marian Mendez Cera, a community organizer with El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, said the county's policies were in line with federal law.

A federal judge has already granted final approval to a settlement San Juan County is closing, which will award $2,000 - plus additional damages - to each of almost 200 people who were illegally detained at the county jail, said John C. Bienvenu, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the case.

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