From the office of Sen. Kennedy

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions today in the Senate Judiciary Committee about the city of New Orleans’ noncompliance with federal immigration laws and status as a “sanctuary city.”

The Attorney General agreed to Sen. Kennedy’s request to meet with the mayor of New Orleans and other city officials to ensure that New Orleans complies with federal laws and keeps important crime-fighting funding.

“We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws,” Sen. Kennedy said.

Sen. Kennedy thanked Sessions for agreeing to meet with him and New Orleans Mayor Landrieu to ensure a swift resolution between the city and Department of Justice.

“It’s clear to me that the mayor of New Orleans doesn’t agree with America’s immigration laws,” Sen. Kennedy said. “This is America. You can believe what you want, but you have to follow the law.”

Sen. Kennedy sent the letter below to Mayor Landrieu last weekend:

Dear Mayor Landrieu:

As you know, Byrne JAG grant awards for the City of New Orleans, which are desperately needed to fight violent crime, are contingent on the city’s compliance with 8 USC §1373. I was concerned to discover that on October 11, the Department of Justice (DOJ) made a preliminary determination that the city is not compliant and is still enforcing “Sanctuary Cities” policies. Your administration has responded to that determination saying that the city is, in fact, in compliance. However, the fact remains that the DOJ continues to find issues with the city’s efforts, and a solution is needed.

Earlier this year, I asked you to meet with Attorney General Sessions and myself in hopes of finding a solution, but you declined. That offer still stands, and I hope that you will now consider it. Furthermore, I will be asking the Attorney General about the city’s compliance issues next week when he appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee. I am confident that he, too, remains willing to meet and help the City forge a path to 8 USC§1373 compliance.

The Attorney General has made clear that any jurisdiction’s willingness to prioritize the protection of criminal aliens over the rule of law will not be tolerated. I fully support that view and believe it is incumbent upon your administration to demonstrate that same commitment. As the city of New Orleans continues to have serious issues with violent crime and gang activity, jeopardizing Byrne JAG funding simply cannot be an option.

I ask you for your full cooperation with the Attorney General and the Department of Justice to secure a swift resolution to this issue and to ensure future Byrne JAG funding. I look forward to your response.



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