Landrieu: letter threatening to pull funding over immigration issues is "another example of the Trump Administration acting before doing their homework"

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CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER

New Orleans is among nine jurisdictions targeted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which threatens to cut federal funding unless they can prove compliance with the feds over their "sanctuary" policies.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu has repeatedly asserted to the administration of President Donald Trump that the New Orleans Police Department and Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office — both of which are under DOJ federal consent decrees — obey federal law, and that New Orleans is not a so-called "sanctuary city" for people living the country illegally.

Today, the DOJ sent letters "requiring proof of compliance," or else. "Many of these jurisdictions are also crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime," according to a press release from the department. "The letters remind the recipient jurisdictions that, as a condition for receiving certain financial year 2016 funding from [the DOJ], each of these jurisdictions agreed to provide documentation and an opinion from legal counsel validating that they are in compliance."
In a statement, Landrieu said the city will respond to the request, but he doubled down on the city's compliance; NOPD supports a policy prohibiting officers from inquiring about immigration status, which Landrieu and Chief Michael Harrison say builds trust among communities without threatening witnesses to crimes with arrest for potential immigration issues. But the policy doesn't prevent NOPD from communicating with federal immigration authorities. The feds have yet to define "sanctuary" policies.

"If anybody in the Trump administration would actually do some research before firing off letters, they would see that the City of New Orleans has already provided the Department of Justice documentation that shows we are in compliance with federal immigration laws," Landrieu said in a statement. "This is another example of the Trump Administration acting before doing their homework. We will send all the documents requested by the federal government again, but the NOPD will not be a part of President Trump’s civil deportation force no matter how many times they ask."
Read Landrieu's full statement below.
"If anybody in the Trump administration would actually do some research before firing off letters, they would see that the City of New Orleans has already provided the Department of Justice documentation that shows we are in compliance with federal immigration laws. There was an entire hearing before the United States Congress where both the Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and the Department of Justice confirmed on the record that New Orleans complies with all federal laws. This is another example of the Trump Administration acting before doing their homework. We will send all the documents requested by the federal government again, but the NOPD will not be a part of President Trump’s civil deportation force no matter how many times they ask.

"The Department of Justice, the federal consent decree monitor and the Federal judge overseeing the consent decree have approved the immigration policy and it has served us well. Going back to September of 2015, officials at the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were consulted in the drafting of NOPD’s immigration policy. This agency, which is responsible for enforcing federal immigration laws, never expressed any concern with the NOPD’s policy.

"The NOPD’s policy on immigration makes New Orleans safer because individuals are more likely to report crime, and victims and witnesses can testify without fear of being questioned about their immigration status. That’s why the NOPD will continue to focus on arresting those who commit violent crimes"



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