New York gives legal guidance to sanctuary cities for immigrants

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By Mica Rosenberg

<span class="articleLocation”>New York’s attorney general on Thursday
published legal guidance for local cities and towns that want to
combat tougher federal immigration enforcement expected in the
new administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Eric Schneiderman released a memo that provides model
language for laws and policies that could be enacted in
jurisdictions in New York state, but could also serve as a
template for other cities around the country.

New York and other cities like Los Angeles and Chicago have
sharply curbed cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities
seeking to deport illegal immigrants, saying they want to
protect the well being of hundreds of thousands of residents.

President Barack Obama’s administration has used so-called
detainer requests to hold immigrants in jail to give federal
authorities time to check their legal status.

Trump early in his campaign pledged to deport all 11 million
immigrants living illegally in the United States but modified
that stance in other statements, saying he would focus on
deporting criminals.

One of the guidelines in Schneiderman’s memo suggests not
holding undocumented inmates for the U.S. Department of
Immigration and Customs Enforcement unless the detainer request
is accompanied by a judge’s order.

The guidelines also suggest limiting local agencies’
collection of immigration-related information to prevent
discrimination.

Several mayors from smaller cities in New York state praised
the legal help.

“As long as I am Mayor, we will not use our resources to
enforce federal anti-immigrant policies,” said Syracuse Mayor
Stephanie Miner in a statement.

The Trump transition team did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.

Schneiderman’s announcement came before a planned rally
outside Trump Tower in support of immigrant rights and other
civil rights. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has vowed to protect the
nearly 3 million immigrants living in New York, is scheduled to
speak at the protest.

Cities also want to encourage immigrants to work with law
enforcement to report crimes without fearing deportation.

Trump at a campaign event in Phoenix in August said he would
block funding for sanctuary cities. “Cities that refuse to
cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer
dollars,” Trump said.

In 2015 lawmakers tried to cut federal spending for
sanctuary cities, including funding for housing, economic
development and law enforcement, but the bill failed to clear
the U.S. Senate.

Cities United for Immigration Action, a coalition of around
100 mayors, municipalities and counties, said that the bill,
would have cost cities hundreds of millions of dollars.



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