View Full Version : DOJ Sends Letter to Philadelphia Mayor Demanding City Cooperate With Immigration Agencies

The Bobster
02-25-2017, 07:49 AM

Mayor Kenney Teams With Legal Community To Fight Trump Immigration Laws
February 24, 2017 7:42 PM By Steve Tawa

Major Jim Kenney waits at International Arrivals of Philadelphia International Airport, on Jan. 28, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
by Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Banana Nose Kenney and some of Philadelphia’s most prominent legal minds gathered in Center City as part of a new alliance called Take Action Philly, or TAP.

They aim to protect undocumented immigrants from President Trump’s aggressive enforcement policies against them.

In the midst of the rhetoric, orders, and tweets from President Trump; the Philadelphia Bar Association, the city, and prominent kyke and spic non-profit legal aid organizations want to help immigrants and refugees. :mad:

“We have embarked in uncharted waters, where there are real concerns for the rule of law, due process, individuals’ constitutional and civil rights, as well as the threat of decreased federal and state funding,” said Deborah Gross, Bar Association Chancellor.

Mayor Kenney re-established Philadelphia’s sanctuary status on his first day in office, and he has repeatedly pushed back against President Trump’s threats to slap economic sanctions on cities that shelter undocumented immigrants. :mad:

The Mayor recalls being a ten-year old in 1968.

“It was the last time I felt like this,” he said.

He says it was the year of the Nixon election, Marth Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, there were civil rights protests, and it was the height of the Vietnam War. :rolleyes:

“I lived in a neighborhood that was so befuddled and confounded by all of the different things pulling and pushing them, from the older, blue-collar hard hat guys, to the young kids that were coming back in flag-draped coffins. I’ve never felt that uneasy, until this year,” said and emotional Mayor Kenney.

Mayor Kenney says Americans made it through that era.

“I know we can do it again, because there’s no choice, other than doing it again,” he said.

City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante says they are banding together to “give voice to the immigrant community and refugees.”

“One of the reasons that my family came to America is because we were drawn by the possibility of hope, that you could make something of yourself in this country. I still think that’s possible, even in this day and age,” he said.

Tulante was born in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), and when his family fled, he arrived in the US as an 8-year-old in 1983. His father was a political refugee, fearing that he would be killed if he stayed.

Organizers say one of the best defenses against deportation is citizenship through the naturalization process.

The Bobster
03-28-2017, 07:52 AM

Philly Mayor Fires Back At AG Jeff Sessions On Sanctuary Cities
March 28, 2017 9:38 AM

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions :D issued a warning to Philadelphia and other sanctuary cities this week.

He says they could lose federal funding for refusing to cooperate with immigration authorities.

The Attorney General also suggests the government may take back previously awarded grant money to cities that do not comply.

However, Philadelphia Mayor Jim "Banana Nose" Kenney is standing his ground. :mad:

“I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and that includes the 4th amendment.”

Kenney said, “We are not going to hold people against their will without charge. That is the 4th amendment of the United States Constitution. I hope Attorney General Sessions would understand what the 4th amendment means.”

Kenney says it is likely the courts will resolve the matter.

The Bobster
04-21-2017, 05:50 PM

DOJ Sends Letter to Philadelphia Mayor Demanding City Cooperate With Immigration Agencies
By Brian X. McCrone
Published 6 hours ago | Updated 3 hours ago

Immigration activists demonstrate against U.S. President Donald Trump's policies on March 2, 2017 in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Trump recently said he's open to a large-scale immigration reform bill if Republicans and Democrats can reach a compromise but critics remain skeptical.

Philadelphia is among nine local or state governments that received a warning in writing Friday from the Department of Justice about funding tied to "sanctuary city" policies.

The letter reiterated what U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions implied at a press conference earlier this month: Communicate with immigration agencies or face possible punitive action in the form of federal funding. :D

Like Sessions's warning, the letter addressed to Mayor Jim "Banana Nose" Kenney from Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson hinged on a requirement in federal law, known in immigration circles as "1373," which is titled "Communication between government agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service."

It obliges local governments to cooperate in certain information-sharing with federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Hanson's letter states that Philadelphia is required to cooperate under 1373 as per its grant agreement with the DOJ's Office of Justice Programs, which is one of the federal government's largest funding sources for local law enforcement.

The letter also states:

As your grant agreement makes clear, this documentation must be accompanied by an official legal opinion from counsel that adequately supports the validation and must be submitted to OJP no later than June 30, 2017. Failure to comply with this condition could result in the withholding of grant funds, suspension or termination of the grant, ineligibility for future OJP grants or subgrants, or other action, as appropriate.

A spokeswoman for Kenney said, "We have been aware of the requirement to certify since 2016, and we believe there is nothing in our current policy that prohibits us from certifying."

When Sessions issued his warning, Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said Sessions was "threatening to take away money from the police department for what amounts to nothing more than good police work. Undocumented residents and their family members are much less likely to call law enforcement when they are a witness to or a victim of a crime if they know that the police will turn them in to ICE. And if residents can’t call the police, then it is extremely difficult to get criminals off the street. If we are forced to change Philadelphia’s policy on this, all of our residents will be less safe.”

The letter, like Sessions's comments, do not address what many associate more closely with sanctuary cities: releasing immigrants who have ICE detainer warrants.

On its municipal website, Philadelphia describes how it handles information-sharing and ICE detainers:

In Philadelphia, we cooperate fully with all law enforcement agencies, including federal agencies, in connection with criminal investigations and apprehension of those accused of crimes. We also do not stop ICE from arresting Philadelphians whom they believe are undocumented. We do require that our police officers not ask about the documentation status of those they encounter. We only allow our Prison System to comply with ICE’s requests to turn over a detainee if they have a federal warrant.

In addition to the building pressure from the Trump administration, a state lawmaker from Northeast Philadelphia has introduced legislation that could potentially prevent Pennsylvania from providing funding to cities that don't comply with immigration authorities.

State Rep. Martina White, a Republican, introduced a bill in October that would impose funding restrictions on any "municipality of refuge."

A state Senate bill called the Municipal Sanctuary and Federal Enforcement (SAFE) Act that also would implement funding restraints on places like Philadelphia has been deemed "a more imminent threat" than potential actions by the Trump administration.

"Last fiscal year, the City received a total of about $790 million from the state. The state bill applies to all state grant funding. It’s unclear what falls under that category at this time. Large portions of this money are for reimbursement for carrying on duties the state wants and needs us to provide," the city's webpage on the sanctuary city status reads. "This bill is not just about Philadelphia. It defines sanctuary cities so broadly that it also jeopardizes state funding for a host of jurisdictions well beyond the 18 other ones that have been identified as sanctuary cities. Cutting critical state funds for all sanctuary cities and other jurisdictions across the state would impact every Pennsylvanian."