PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says the city will not change its policy on immigration enforcement despite a notice it received from the Justice Department on Thursday threatening to revoke a federal grant.
The exchange is the latest in a dispute going back to April.
The Justice Department first raised the specter of revoking the $1.7 million grant in an April letter, telling the city it had to share information with federal immigration agents in order to qualify for the money.
City solicitor Sozi Tulante responded in June that the city does share information, but the latest Justice Department letter, dated Wednesday, specifies information the city doesn’t share, such as the immigration status of crime victims, which it says it might want if they’re also perpetrators.
“This makes absolutely no sense,” Tulante said.
Tulante says he’ll file a formal response in the two week time frame the letter gives, but Mayor Kenney doubts that will satisfy the department.
“The reality is they won’t be satisfied unless we actively join them in scaring immigrants out of our communities. We simply are not going to do that,” Kenney said.
The city has filed a suit against the department, challenging its authority to make these demands.