UPDATE: Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Thursday afternoon that both city attorney Rebecca Dietz and NOPD Chief Michael Harrison were present for the sanctuary city meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy.
He released the following statement on the meeting:
“Today, I, along with both City Attorney Rebecca Dietz and NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison, met with Senator Kennedy and Attorney General Sessions to discuss the City of New Orleans’ compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373. We are pleased that the Attorney General and Senator Kennedy have come around to agreeing with the point we have made all along--New Orleans is not a "sanctuary city"and the NOPD’s policies have maintained consistent compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373. Our police department will continue to focus on arresting criminals—irrespective of their immigration status. In New Orleans, we pride ourselves on being a welcoming city. Diversity is a strength,and we will continue to make the city safe for everyone."
Kennedy called the meeting a positive one and said Sessions will deem the city as "facially compliant" with federal immigration law if New Orleans will meet the following two conditions:
- When someone in jail is found to be an illegal immigrant, the city should notify ICE two days before releasing the inmate.
- The city will allow ICE agents to talk to the inmate within the two days of notifying the feds that there is an illegal immigrant in custody.
Here's the original story:
NEW ORLEANS -- Mayor Mitch Landrieu is slated to meet with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday regarding the city's compliance with so-called "sanctuary city" policies, but Sessions' office is not allowing all parties involved to sit in on the meeting.
According to Landrieu's office, city attorney Rebecca Dietz and NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison were supposed to attend the meeting with Landrieu, as was U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond.
Landrieu's office said they were notified late Wednesday that Richmond would not be allowed to attend, and that Landrieu will have to pick either Dietz or Harrison to attend, not both. U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican, has also been invited to the meeting.
Mayor Landrieu calls the meeting a political stunt and has repeatedly said that NOPD is in compliance with federal immigration law and the DOJ-approved NOPD consent decree.
"Since this is supposed to be a meeting about substance, I cannot imagine why they are not willing to allow a mayor to bring the policy experts who can speak to the issues. Given the issues are both legal and law enforcement related, it only makes sense that we have all the parties at the table. It is clear that this meeting is a political stunt and is not designed to be substantive. If it was, they would have no problem including the City Attorney, Police Chief and Congressman. New Orleans is not a sanctuary city, and we will follow all laws. I am urging Attorney General Sessions and Senator Kennedy to allow our City's top law enforcement officer, lawyer and Congressman to attend so we can have a substantive discussion and put this issue to rest once and for all."
According to the Attorney General's office, U.S Rep. Cedric Richmond was never never included in the original talks, nor was he meant to attend the meeting between Mayor Landrieu and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
At issue is the city's refusal to hold certain people that immigration officials believe to be here illegally for an additional 48 hours so they can be picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Landrieu has said in the past that he will "not move officers off the street to join President Trump's deportation force."