The U.S. Department of Justice says it has found that Louisville is not a sanctuary city and therefore is in compliance with federal immigration laws. Courier Journal first reported that DOJ officials sent a letter to Mayor Greg Fischer on Thursday.
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The Trump administration is pushing back on cities it views as being soft on immigration enforcement.
As reported by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, in October of last year, Louisville Metro Council passed an ordinance that says public safety officials can only assist federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents with a warrant signed by a judge, or if ICE “articulates a reasonable suspicion of a risk of violence” or when there is a clear danger to the public.
The following month, the DOJ told Fischer it was concerned the ordinance would jeopardize the city’s eligibility to continue receiving federal funds for police equipment, and challenged the city to prove the new policy was not a “sanctuary” law.
But after a review, federal officials said they’ve found no evidence that Louisville is out of compliance with federal laws.
“At the time, this ordinance was discussed and passed, we were confident that we (were) dealing with a public safety issue and there was never any intention to hinder federal enforcement of immigration laws,” said Metro Council President David James in a written statement. “I am pleased that the DOJ is satisfied with what was passed and we can move forward.”
The DOJ this week sent another round of letters to the so-called sanctuary cities of Seattle and Oakland and the state of Vermont demanding further proof that they are cooperating with immigration authorities.