In November 2017, the DOJ sent letters to Jackson, Mississippi, along with other municipalities throughout the country, stating that they were not in compliance with grant funding that conditionally required cooperation on not establishing ‘sactuary policies’.
In November, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba responded to the previous letter …
“The City of Jackson is firmly committed to promoting and securing safe communities. We unflinchingly uphold the canon of human rights for human beings. Racial profiling is patently illegal, violating the U.S. Constitution’s principle assurance of equal protection under the law to all and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Furthermore, racial profiling is ineffective. It alienates communities from law enforcement, disrupts community policing efforts, and causes law enforcement to forfeit credibility and trust among the people they are sworn to protect and serve. It is my belief that the action taken by the City of Jackson to enact an anti-racial profiling ordinance is not in violation of the law, but to the contrary is an effort to undergird the long-standing ideals that are firmly cemented within our justice system.”
Turns out that the response wasn’t well received. Jackson will now likely be responding to the DOJ in short order or alternatively refunding grant moneys to DOJ, which totaled $252,000+ in 2017.
Full Press Release
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DEMANDS DOCUMENTS AND THREATENS TO SUBPOENA 23 JURISDICTIONS AS PART OF 8 U.S.C. 1373 COMPLIANCE REVIEW
WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today sent the attached letters to 23 jurisdictions, demanding the production of documents that could show whether each jurisdiction is unlawfully restricting information sharing by its law enforcement officers with federal immigration authorities.
All 23 of these jurisdictions were previously contacted by the Justice Department, when the Department raised concerns about laws, policies, or practices that may violate 8 U.S.C. 1373, a federal statute that promotes information sharing related to immigration enforcement and with which compliance is a condition of FY2016 and FY2017 Byrne JAG awards.
The letters also state that recipient jurisdictions that fail to respond, fail to respond completely, or fail to respond in a timely manner will be subject to a Department of Justice subpoena.
“I continue to urge all jurisdictions under review to reconsider policies that place the safety of their communities and their residents at risk,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “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.”
Failure to comply with section 1373 could result in the Justice Department seeking the return of FY2016 grants, requiring additional conditions for receipt of any FY2017 Byrne JAG funding, and/or jurisdictions being deemed ineligible to receive FY2017 Byrne JAG funding.
The following jurisdictions received the document request today:
- Chicago, Illinois;
- Cook County, Illinois;
- New York City, New York;
- State of California;
- Albany, New York;
- Berkeley, California;
- Bernalillo County, New Mexico;
- Burlington, Vermont;
- City and County of Denver, Colorado;
- Fremont, California;
- Jackson, Mississippi;
- King County, Washington;
- Lawrence, Massachusetts;
- City of Los Angeles, California;
- Louisville Metro, Kentucky;
- Monterey County, California;
- Sacramento County, California;
- City and County of San Francisco, California;
- Sonoma County, California;
- Watsonville, California;
- West Palm Beach, Florida;
- State of Illinois; and
- State of Oregon.