Justice Department Sends Letters to 29 Jurisdictions Regarding Compliance with U.S. Laws

From:  News Release  11/19/17   GCN

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice has sent the attached letters to 29 jurisdictions that may have laws, policies, or practices that violate 8 U.S.C. 1373, a federal statute that promotes information sharing related to immigration enforcement.

“Jurisdictions that adopt so-called ‘sanctuary policies’ also adopt the view that the protection of criminal aliens is more important than the protection of law-abiding citizens and of the rule of law,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “I urge all jurisdictions found to be potentially out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents. We urge jurisdictions to not only comply with Section 1373, but also to establish sensible and effective partnerships to properly process criminal aliens.”

The following jurisdictions have preliminarily been found to have laws, policies, or practices that may violate 8 U.S.C. 1373:

  • Albany, New York;
  • Berkeley, California;
  • Bernalillo County, New Mexico;
  • Burlington, Vermont;
  • Contra Costa County, California;
  • City and County of Denver, Colorado;
  • Fremont, California;
  • Jackson, Mississippi;
  • King County, Washington;
  • Lawrence, Massachusetts;
  • Los Angeles, California;
  • Louisville Metro, Kentucky;
  • Middlesex, New Jersey;
  • Monterey County, California;
  • Multnomah County, Oregon;
  • Newark, New Jersey;
  • Riverside County, California;
  • Sacramento County, California;
  • City and County of San Francisco, California;
  • Santa Ana, California;
  • Santa Clara County, California;
  • Seattle, Washington;
  • Sonoma County, California;
  • Washington, District of Columbia;
  • Watsonville, California;
  • West Palm Beach, Florida;
  • State of Illinois;
  • State of Oregon; and
  • State of Vermont.

The letters remind the recipient jurisdictions that, as a condition for receiving certain FY2016 funding from the Department of Justice, each of these jurisdictions agreed to comply with Section 1373.

The Department of Justice periodically reviews the laws, policies, or practices of jurisdictions that previously certified compliance with Section 1373 as a condition of their FY2016 Byrne JAG awards.

In addition to raising concerns about these jurisdictions’ Section 1373 compliance during FY2016, the Justice Department asked jurisdictions to determine that they will comply with Section 1373 should they receive an FY2017 Byrne JAG award.

Jurisdictions that were found to have possible violations of 8 U.S.C. 1373 will have until December 8, 2017 to demonstrate that the interpretation and application of their laws, policies, or practices comply with the statute.