NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu didn’t pull any punches in his response to a letter issued by the Department of Justice earlier today that threatened penalties if the city didn’t adhere to federal immigration regulations.
The DOJ letter, copies of which were sent to officials in Sacramento, Chicago, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, and New York, was designed to target cities that had been identified as “sanctuary cities” in the past.
In the letter, Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Hanson threatened to revoke grant money sent to the cities through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program if officials failed to submit documentation proving that the city is in compliance with a federal requirement governing the disclosure of immigration status.
“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 his reply.
Attorney General Jeff Landry and the Department of Justice appeared in a hearing before the United States Congress to confirm on the record that New Orleans complies with all federal laws, Landrieu said.
“This is another example of the Trump Administration acting before doing their homework,” Landrieu said. “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.”
As far back as 2015, Landrieu noted, officials at the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement have signed off on the city’s immigration policy – which they helped draft.
“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,” he said. “That’s why the NOPD will continue to focus on arresting those who commit violent crimes”