Mayor says Las Vegas isn't sanctuary city

LAS VEGAS - The battle between the Trump administration and sanctuary cities is heating up.  Sanctuary cities have policies designed to limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. 

However, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman made it clear that the City of Las Vegas was not a sanctuary city.
 
The Mayor's office released a statement:

"The City of Las Vegas has no "sanctuary" ordinances in place. We are in compliance with ICE regulations, and continue to work with federal authorities."

A spokesperson for the mayor also said that the city jail, which also houses offenders from North Las Vegas does contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE if they pick up an undocumented immigrant.  But Metro Police changed its policy regarding detaining undocumented immigrants for ICE a few years ago.  The police department did it after out of state court rulings said it was unconstitutional.

In 2015, 8 News NOW spoke with local law enforcement officials about the change in the law.  Chuck Callaway Director of Intergovernmental services at Metro Police said, "We're not agents of the federal government. Our officers don't enforce immigration law on the field."

There are exceptions to that detainment rule including if there's a warrant and probable cause.  On Thursday, Metro told me that they're watching to see how this develops.  They went on to say that they didn't know if the order would affect them.

Although Las Vegas officials don't consider the city to be a sanctuary city, if the White House and DHS officials do, the city could still be considered at risk of losing federal funding.  In Las Vegas alone, during the 2016 fiscal year, the city took in about $45 million in federal grant funds.

8 News NOW spoke with White House officials Thursday about this issue, and the White House said they're preparing along with the office of management and budget, a list of non-exempt programs.  8 News NOW asked repeatedly whether or not the White House considered Las Vegas as a sanctuary city, but the White House hasn't answered the question.

 


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