DOJ certifies New Orleans in full compliance with federal immigration law

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NEW ORLEANS – After accusations that the City of New Orleans was illegally operating as a “sanctuary city” in defiance of Federal law, the Department of Justice today certified that the NOPD is, in fact, in full compliance with the law.

“As we have maintained for years, the Department of Justice has confirmed that we are in full compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “Under my Administration, the New Orleans Police Department has and will continue to follow all federal laws; however, the NOPD will not be the federal government’s deportation force. We will build relationships between the NOPD and all community members. The City of New Orleans will not be side-tracked by caustic, political rhetoric that seeks to make us fearful of others and scapegoat immigrants. The NOPD will continue to focus on the arrest and conviction of violent criminals, regardless of their immigration status.”

Landrieu certified that the city was in full compliance in April, after a DOJ letter sent to officials in New Orleans, Sacramento, Chicago, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, and New York threatening penalties against any city operating as a “sanctuary city.”

“The Department of Justice failed to note in its letter sent to me today that Chapter 41.6.1, Paragraph 5 of the NOPD’s operation manual states that officers are to follow Section 1373(a), and that the policy does ‘not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, [ICE] information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual,’” Landrieu said. “As such, we continue to state unambiguously that Chapter 41.6.1 does not restrict officers and employees from requesting information regarding immigration status from federal immigration officers. Pursuant to standard training procedures, all officers and employees were notified about the policy in September 2016.”

Much like his retort to the DOJ in April, Landrieu ended his remarks with a broadside aimed at the Trump Administration.

“Instead of fear-mongering and false accusations, we urge you to work with mayors across the nation to tackle violent crime through smart, evidence-based policing,” Landrieu said.

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