Sanctuary cities threatened with loss of federal grant money

In the face of funding cuts and a hostile immigration policy brought in by Donald Trump's new administration, communities and leaders in Sanctuary cities have vowed to remain steadfast in their opposition to federal threats and continue to be accommodating to refugees.

The Department of Justice was referring to the February release of an 18-year-old from Rikers Island even though he had been ordered deported by an immigration judge. "The New Orleans Police Department will not be a part of President Trump's civil deportation force no matter how many times they ask", he added.

After a raid led to the arrests of 11 MS-13 gang members in California's Bay Area "city officials seemed more concerned with reassuring illegal immigrants that the raid was unrelated to immigration than with warning other MS-13 members that they were next", the department said in a statement.

"New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable effect of the city's "soft on crime" stance", the agency claiming to lead the nation on law enforcement pronounced, hyping a letter sent to eight cities and counties and the state of California demanding proof they cooperate with information requests by the feds, on penalty of losing aid.

The letters sent out to state and city officials mandated that they must certify that they are compliant with the law in question by June 30 as a condition for receiving the grants.

Other places also insisted they were in compliance.

But New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has argued that sanctuary status has made New York safer because undocumented witnesses are not afraid to come forward, wasn't having any of that.

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On Friday, Nisha Agarwal, commissioner for the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs in NY, said the city was prepared to respond by the June 30 deadline. She declined to speculate as to why Philadelphia was among the cities singled out by the Justice Department.

Kevin de Leon, leader of California's state Senate, rejected the administration's demand, saying its policies are based on "principles of white supremacy" and not American values.

De Blasio and other top city officials also batted back against the "soft on crime" label in the Justice Department's statement. "This is an insult, this statement".

Violent crime has been falling in NY for more than 20 years and is continuing to decline, as police officials noted Friday.

The Justice Department doubled down after de Blasio's comments, repeating its "soft on crime" description. "That makes no one safer", Bharara said on Twitter. "New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable outcome of the city's "soft on crime" stance".

Those threatened were: the state of California; New York City; Chicago; Philadelphia; Clark County, Nevada; New Orleans; Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

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