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The Justice Department is giving four so-called sanctuary cities a "last chance" to show they're not thwarting enforcement of US immigration law before possibly losing federal grants that help pay for public safety equipment.

Philadelphia police policy forbids officers from asking about anyone's immigration status; city officials have said that when officers inadvertently learn about someone's immigration status, that information will make it into a police report only when that person is suspected of a crime.

"We welcome immigrants to the city of Philadelphia", Kenney said. Sessions has said that federal grant money would be withheld from sanctuary jurisdictions.

The Trump administration and other critics advocating an immigration crackdown - including Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry - have railed against so-called sanctuary cities, contending their policies make it harder for federal authorities to deport potentially risky criminals in the country illegally.

Two other jurisdictions, the state of CT and Milwaukee County, Wis., heeded Justice Department warnings and reversed policies meant to shield undocumented immigrants from possible deportation.

"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", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement to The Post.

"Instead of fear-mongering and false accusations, we urge you to work with mayors across the nation to tackle violent crime through smart, evidence-based policing", Landrieu said.

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In a notice reviewed by Fox News, the DOJ announced that five jurisdictions "have preliminarily been found to have laws, policies, or practices that may violate" a key federal statute concerning cooperation with federal immigration officials.

A law enforcement grant received by the city requires compliance with the law, the letter states.

In a statement Thursday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the DOJ confirmed the city's compliance. "However we encourage all of Connecticut's law enforcement agencies not to participate" in joint operations with federal immigration agents, he wrote.

It added that the four cities have until October 27 to show they are complying with other, long-standing federal law, including a almost 20-year-old statute that says cities can't hinder information sharing with immigration agents.

The Justice Department, however, apparently has dismissed the city's earlier responses.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions argued it was wrong to apply an order nationally in a case brought by Chicago and that it should only apply to that city.

A Chicago federal judge last month imposed a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration from tying grants to two new conditions.

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