CHICAGO - The City of Chicago and surrounding Cook County received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice last week, warning them that unless they would assure the DOJ the jurisdictions are abiding by agreements with Feds about their handling of those not legally residing in the United States, federal grant funds could be in jeopardy.
The DOJ said they Chicago and Cook County officials to be aware that they've agreed that a "Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, or any individual."
The amount the DOJ says is threatened is $2,333,428.
Both Chicago and Cook County officials say they will continue to refuse to alert federal officials about detained immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally unless the requests are accompanied by a judicial order.
“Neither the facts nor the law are on [the Justice Department’s] side,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “Regardless, let me be clear: Chicago’s values and Chicago’s future are not for sale.”
Emanuel's position reflects the same counsel a group called "Informed Immigrants" is offering on a new training video made available Monday. The video tells those living in Chicago and Cook County what their local officials view as rights for those in America lawfully or unlawfully.
Immigration groups are lauding the new video entitled "Know Your Rights & Family Preparedness Video."
“Right now, millions of immigrants go to bed at night fearing that the next day they may be separated from their friends, family, and the country that they call home," says Juan Escalante, Digital Organizer of America's Voice Education Fund.
"By staying informed, and ensuring families know their rights, we can provide immigrants with the tools they need to protect themselves and their loved ones. Resources like the Informed Immigrant video series will play a crucial role in helping immigrant families plan for the future.”
More on the video HERE.
The letter from the Department of Justice: