DOJ seemingly not targeting Cincinnati in potential sanctuary city crackdown

DOJ seemingly not targeting Cincinnati in potential sanctuary city crackdown

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Chicago, Louisville and 27 other jurisdictions received letters from the Department of Justice warning them to address any "sanctuary city" violations by  Dec. 8. Missing from that list is Cincinnati and every other major Ohio city that declared themselves a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants last summer.

During the presidential campaign, President Donald Trump frequently promised to crackdown on so-called "sanctuary cities" by withholding federal money unless jurisdictions use local authorities to help the federal government enforce immigration laws.

The crackdown is a part of his key campaign promise to curtail illegal immigration from the United State's southern border. However, progression on the issue seems to be at a near stand-still with Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions running into limitations on their power and influence over urban parts of the country.

On Wednesday, when the Department of Justice fired warning shots at sanctuaries, none of the counties or cities warned have been determined to be guilty of any violations and the letters sent do not outline possible consequences.

So far, Trump and Sessions do not appear to have acted on their threats to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities, which could be due to the young administration being in power for less than a year. Despite being a popular idea with Trump's base, cracking the whip on sanctuaries could be more difficult that original proposals may have suggested.

Cincinnati and other Ohio cities generally fit the bill to be in the federal government's sights. However, no jurisdiction in the state has been named and any actions could get push back from the courts and Congress.

There's no definitive list of sanctuary cities and the definition is vague. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has said the city is not violating any laws and there is no interference with feds investigating immigration crimes. The mayor's definition of the Queen City serving as a sanctuary is federal law enforcement not being delegated to local police.

Letters signed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson cited specific policies in jurisdictions that concern the DOJ.

In a warning sent to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, policies protecting confidential information of immigrant informants and forbidding metro officials inquiring about an individual's immigration status were listed as practices that may violate federal law.

Some red flags for the DOJ are jurisdictions such as Los Angeles that do not inform feds an undocumented immigrant is in custody.

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