Mississippi’s capital city was one of 23 jurisdictions nationally to be sent letters from the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday concerning possible constitutional violations related to immigration enforcement.
The city of Jackson and the 22 other jurisdictions were ordered to produce documents that “could show whether each jurisdiction is unlawfully restricting information sharing by its law enforcement officers with federal immigration authorities.”
The letter was sent to Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. The mayor’s office referred questions on the matter to the city’s legal staff, which was not immediately available for comment Thursday.
Jackson was the only jurisdiction in Mississippi sent the letter. Only two other jurisdictions in the South were sent letters— West Palm Beach, Fla. and the Louisville, Ky. Metro Area. Nine of the 23 jurisdictions were in California, and others were in Illinois, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, the state of Washington and Massachusetts.
The city of Jackson was previously contacted by the Department of Justice regarding the immigration concerns. The DOJ still had concerns about the city of Jackson’s compliance after the city’s response to the initial letter.
Jackson will be subject to a Department of Justice subpoena if it fails to respond in a timely or complete manner. Failure to comply with the U.S. Constitution’s requirement related to immigration enforcement could also result in jurisdictions being required to return federal grant funds, the DOJ said.
“I continue to urge all jurisdictions under review to reconsider policies that place the safety of their communities and their residents at risk,” said U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Protecting criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities defies common sense and undermines the rule of law. We have seen too many examples of the threat to public safety represented by jurisdictions that actively thwart the federal government’s immigration enforcement—enough is enough.”
Documents sought from the city of Jackson are, “All documents reflecting any orders, directives, instructions, or guidance to your law enforcement employees (including, but not limited to, police officers, correctional officers, and contract employees), whether formal or informal, that were distributed, produced, and/or in effect during the relevant timeframe, regarding whether and how these employees may, or may not, communicate with the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and/or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or their agents, whether directly or indirectly.”