The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday dispatched letters to officials in New York City, Philadelphia, California and other places singled out last year by the agency’s inspector general for regulations that interfere with the ability of police or sheriffs to communicate with federal immigration authorities about the status of immigrants in their custody.
The letter has escalated confrontation with so-called “sanctuary cities” that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities, according to the New York Times.
Additionally, many of these jurisdictions are also crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime,” said the DOJ.
But, in a strong response, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner James O’Neill blasted the Trump administration for claiming that the city was “soft on crime” and awash in gang murders.
“It is unacceptable, it is outrageous and it is absurd,” de Blasio declared at a news conference. “I’m telling you right now, it’s an unacceptable statement that denigrates the people of New York City and the men and women of the NYPD. “This is an insult, this statement.”
O’Neill said his “blood began to boil,” recounting how violent crime rates, including homicides, have declined significantly in the city in the past two decades.
“I would say to President Trump and to Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions, if you believe this statement is accurate, come here to New York City, look our police officers in the eye and tell them you believe they are soft on crime. See how that feels,” de Blasio said.
Last month, Sessions warned that recipients of federal law enforcement grants were required to comply with law that bars the local authorities from forcing officials to withhold information from federal immigration authorities about people’s immigration status, the Times said.
It said the recipients of the letters were warned that as a condition of receiving 2016 grants, they must certify by June 30 that they were in compliance with the law.
- Countries: United_States