Washington, DC:

Justice Department Sends Letters to 29 Jurisdictions Regarding Their Compliance with 8 U.S.C. 1373

The Department of Justice today sent the attached letters to 29 jurisdictions that may have laws, policies, or practices that violate 8 U.S.C. 1373, a federal statute that promotes information sharing related to immigration enforcement.

 

“Jurisdictions that adopt so-called ‘sanctuary policies’ also adopt the view that the protection of criminal aliens is more important than the protection of law-abiding citizens and of the rule of law,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “I urge all jurisdictions found to be potentially out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents. We urge jurisdictions to not only comply with Section 1373, but also to establish sensible and effective partnerships to properly process criminal aliens.”

 

The following jurisdictions have preliminarily been found to have laws, policies, or practices that may violate 8 U.S.C. 1373:

 

  • Albany, New York;
  • Berkeley, California;
  • Bernalillo County, New Mexico;
  • Burlington, Vermont;
  • Contra Costa County, California;
  • City and County of Denver, Colorado;
  • Fremont, California;
  • Jackson, Mississippi;
  • King County, Washington;
  • Lawrence, Massachusetts;
  • Los Angeles, California;
  • Louisville Metro, Kentucky;
  • Middlesex, New Jersey;
  • Monterey County, California;
  • Multnomah County, Oregon;
  • Newark, New Jersey;
  • Riverside County, California;
  • Sacramento County, California;
  • City and County of San Francisco, California;
  • Santa Ana, California;
  • Santa Clara County, California;
  • Seattle, Washington;
  • Sonoma County, California;
  • Washington, District of Columbia;
  • Watsonville, California;
  • West Palm Beach, Florida;
  • State of Illinois;
  • State of Oregon; and
  • State of Vermont.

 

The letters remind the recipient jurisdictions that, as a condition for receiving certain FY2016 funding from the Department of Justice, each of these jurisdictions agreed to comply with Section 1373.

 

The Department of Justice periodically reviews the laws, policies, or practices of jurisdictions that previously certified compliance with Section 1373 as a condition of their FY2016 Byrne JAG awards.

 

In addition to raising concerns about these jurisdictions’ Section 1373 compliance during FY2016, the Justice Department asked jurisdictions to determine that they will comply with Section 1373 should they receive an FY2017 Byrne JAG award.

 

Jurisdictions that were found to have possible violations of 8 U.S.C. 1373 will have until December 8, 2017 to demonstrate that the interpretation and application of their laws, policies, or practices comply with the statute.

Letter:

November 15,2017

Elaine Flynn
County Clerk
Middlesex County
Administration Building, 4th floor
75 Bayard Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Dear Ms. Flynn,
Your FY 2016 Byrne JAG grant award required you to comply with 8 US.c. § 1373.
Section 1373 compliance is an ongoing requirement that the Department of Justice monitors. The
Department of Justice is concerned that the following Middlesex County laws, policies, or practices
may violate section 1373:
• Policy of the County of Middlesex Regarding 48 Hour Civil Immigration Detainers. This
policy states that “it shall be the general policy of the County of Middlesex to not comply
with 48 hour civil detainer requests from ICE …. ” In addition to a request to hold an alien
beyond his or her scheduled release, ICE detainer requests typically also include a request for
advance notice of an alien’s release from custody. If Middlesex County interprets this policy
to restrict providing notice of an alien’s release from custody, the Department is concerned
that this policy may restrict the sending of information regarding immigration status, in
violation of section 1373(a).
As a result of your FY 2016 Byrne JAG subaward made from the New Jersey Department of
Law and Public Safety under federal award 2016-DJ-BX-0318, compliance with 8 U.S.c. § 1373 is
required.
By December 8,2017, please coordinate with the New Jersey Department of Law and Public
Safety, and submit ajoint response to this letter that addresses whether Middlesex County has laws,
policies, or practices that violate section 1373, including those discussed above. In addition to your
compliance in FY 2016, please address whether you would comply with section 1373 throughout the
award period, should you receive an FY 2017 Byrne JAG grant award. To the extent Middlesex
County laws or policies contain so called “savings clauses,” please explain in your submission the
1
way these savings clauses are interpreted and applied, and whether these interpretations are
communicated to Middlesex County ofticers or employees.
The Department has not made a final determination regarding Middlesex County’s
compliance with section 1373. This letter does not constitute tinal agency action and nothing in this
letter creates any right or benetit enforceable at law against the United States.
Sincerely,
L~·~
Alan Hanson
Acting Assistant Attorney General

November 15,2017
Anthony Ambrose
Director of Public Safety
920 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Dear Mr. Ambrose,
Your FY 2016 Byrne JAG grant award required you to comply with 8 US.c. § 1373.
Section 1373 compliance is an ongoing requirement that the Department of Justice monitors. The
Department of Justice is concerned that the following Newark laws, policies, or practices may
violate section 1373:
• City of Newark Executive Order No. MEO 17-0001. Part 2.C prohibits “[h]onor[ing]
immigration detainer requests,” which is defined to include a “request[] [for] notice of
release.” The Department is concerned that this appears to restrict the sending of information
regarding immigration status, in violation of section 1373(a).
• City of Newark Executive Order No. MEO 17-0001. Part 3 prohibits “inquir[ing] about or
request[ing] information about or otherwise investigat[ing] the citizenship or immigration
status of any person.” The Department is concerned that this appears to restrict the
requesting of information regarding immigration status, in violation of section 1373(b).
• City of Newark Executive Order No. MEO 17-0001. Part 6 prohibits “maintain[ing] and/or
shar[ing] confidential personal information,” which is defined to include, among other things,
national origin, criminal history, and release date from incarceration. The Department is
concerned that this appears to restrict the maintaining and sending of information regarding
citizenship and immigration status, in violation of section 1373(a) and (b).
By December 8, 2017, please submit a response to this letter that addresses whether Newark
has laws, policies, or practices that violate section 1373, including those discussed above. In
addition to your compliance in FY 2016, please address whether you would comply with section
1
1373 throughout the award period, should you receive an FY 2017 Byrne JAG grant award. To the
extent Newark laws or policies contain so called “savings clauses,” please explain in your
submission the way these savings clauses are interpreted and applied, and whether these
interpretations are communicated to Newark of1icers or employees.
The Department has not made a tinal determination regarding Newark’s compliance with
section 1373. This letter does not constitute final agency action and nothing in this letter creates any
right or benefit enforceable at law against the United States.
Sincerely,
Alan Hanson
Acting Assistant Attorney General