Mayors Skip White House Meeting Over Sanctuary Cities Crackdown

Mayor de Blasio backs out of mayors' meeting with President Trump after sanctuary cities announcement

So did Cook County Board Chair Toni Preckwinkle, whose office said in a statement the county is already complying with applicable federal law, but would review Sessions' request.

Several of the cities and the American Civil Liberties Union hit back in defense of the undocumented people, and of their police forces, too.

However, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the mayors can not "pick and choose what laws they want to follow".

San Francisco officials maintains that they are in compliance with federal law.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has responded to the sanctuary cities threat in a tweet and a refusal to an invitation to the White House.

The Justice Department warns it may seek the "return of FY 2016 grant funds, require additional conditions for receipt of any FY 2017 Byrne JAG funding for which you have applied, and/or deem you ineligible for FY 2017 Byrne JAG funds".

"The Jefferson County Attorney provided the U.S. Department of Justice with a response to its questions about the new city ordinance in December, and received no feedback until moments ago, when the letter from the DOJ arrived".

Rivera's statement went on to say that he "would challenge the DOJ to produce a report of the number of undocumented criminals they have been looking for that we have denied them access to".

"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.

The move prompted immediate backlash, with mayors from across the country, including Hancock, announcing they would boycott a planned meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump on Wednesday afternoon.

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All were sent to cities, counties and states regarded as "sanctuary cities", which limit cooperation with the federal government in enforcing immigration law to end fear of deportation and encourage school attendance and reporting of crimes.

Other mayors from major US cities across the country also expressed their displeasure at the DOJ's decision, calling it insulting and saying they were already in compliance with federal immigration law.

The letters to the 23 jurisdictions were sent almost a week after Senate Democrats asked the departments of Justice and Homeland Security for more information about whether the administration would criminally charge local politicians over local laws that create protections for immigrants.

So on Wednesday, the Justice Department sent letters dialing up the pressure on 23 jurisdictions that have failed to hand over records that show compliance with federal immigration laws.

Numerous jurisdictions have said they already are in full compliance with the law. I'm in Washington, D.C., right now with the nation's mayors at our annual leadership meeting, and we had been negotiating with the White House for a couple of days, and ostensibly, it was about infrastructure, it was about jobs, it was about the whole plethora of issues mayors are concerned about.

"In a city with a large proportion of immigrants and refugees, such enforcement "is not keeping our city safe" and discourages people from cooperating with the police, Sheehan added".

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

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.

The Justice Department, however, argued that the mayors were required to abide by federal law if they receive federal financial assistance.

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