Justice Dept. demands documents from sanctuary cities, threatens subpoenas

Justice Dept. demands documents from sanctuary cities, threatens subpoenas
© Getty

The Justice Department on Wednesday requested documents from nearly two dozen jurisdictions to show if local law enforcement is sharing information with federal immigration authorities — and threatened to issue subpoenas if they fail to cooperate.

In letters sent to the 23 jurisdictions — including Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles, among others — the Justice Department said it was requesting that they provide "any orders, directives, instructions or guidance to your law enforcement employees."

“I continue to urge all jurisdictions under review to reconsider policies that place the safety of their communities and their residents at risk,” Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE said in a statement.


“Protecting criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities defies common sense and undermines the rule of law. We have seen too many examples of the threat to public safety represented by jurisdictions that actively thwart the federal government’s immigration enforcement — enough is enough,” he said.

So-called sanctuary cities, which limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, have increasingly come under fire since President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE took office.

Sessions has repeatedly called for tougher measures for the cities, including the withholding of federal grants.

Trump made the issue central to his presidential campaign in 2016, arguing that sanctuary city policies prevent law enforcement from keeping Americans safe.

Earlier this month, Trump's pick to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) called for a crackdown on sanctuary cities. He said politicians who run them should be charged with crimes.