A day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued guidance that narrowly defined a “sanctuary city,” the Justice Department is attempting to broaden its authority to compel such jurisdictions to cooperate with immigration authorities.
A provision included in the Justice Department’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget seeks to update a portion of federal law, U.S.C. 1373, which bans local governments from enacting policies that restrict or prohibit communications with federal immigration authorities “regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”
The proposed changes would require law enforcement to comply with federal immigration detainers — requests that inmates be held in custody for up to 48 hours beyond their scheduled release from jail in order to give federal immigration authorities time retrieve them.
The Justice Department and Homeland Security are seeking the change “to expand the scope to prevent state and local government officials from prohibiting or restricting any government law enforcement entity or official from complying with a lawful civil immigration detainer request,” according to the budget proposal.
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