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Feds Threaten Jackson Funds Over Immigration ‘Sanctuary’ Policy

17 November 2017 No Comment
The U.S. Department of Justice wrote the City of Jackson asking if its anti-profiling ordinance complies with the U.S. Constitution. The City must respond within a month. Photo by Imani Khayyam.

The U.S. Department of Justice wrote the City of Jackson asking if its anti-profiling ordinance complies with the U.S. Constitution. The City must respond within a month. Photo by Imani Khayyam.

By Arielle Dreher

November 16, 2017

Courtesy of The Jackson Free Press

The U.S. Department of Justice does not know the City of Jackson has a new mayor. In a letter addressed to Mayor Tony Yarber but dated Nov. 15, 2017, Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson asked the City of Jackson to review its “sanctuary city” ordinance in order to receive federal funds from the Office of Justice Programs going forward.

Jackson has an anti-profiling ordinance that prohibits police officers in the city from asking about a person’s immigration status unless it is “relevant to the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense, or when processing an arrested person.”

The ordinance, often referred to as a “sanctuary policy,” has been on the books since 2010. This year, the Mississippi Legislature passed a law to make sanctuary cities illegal in the state, and following President Donald Trump’s lead, Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill into law.

Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba so far has been a staunch supporter of immigrants living in the city—he signed a letter in September encouraging Trump to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. Lumumba’s father, the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, introduced the anti-profiling ordinance in 2010 when he was a Jackson City Council member.

Feds Threaten Jackson Funds Over Immigration ‘Sanctuary’ Policy

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