Attorney General may not consider Las Vegas a sanctuary city aft - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Attorney General may not consider Las Vegas a sanctuary city after all

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Las Vegas on July 12, 2017. (Jason Westerhaus/FOX5) Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Las Vegas on July 12, 2017. (Jason Westerhaus/FOX5)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the inclusion of Las Vegas in a list of so-called sanctuary cities that don't cooperate with federal immigration authorities is being reviewed.

Sessions' remarks came Wednesday in Las Vegas, where he spoke before a group of federal, state and local law enforcement officials. 

Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, and other jurisdictions were singled out in a May 2016 report by the Justice Department's inspector general. It found local policies or rules could interfere with providing information to immigration agents.

The jurisdictions last week received a strongly worded statement from the department questioning whether they are responding honestly when asked whether they follow the law on sharing the immigration status of residents.

Sessions said the list was prepared before he ever became Attorney General.

"I would just say we're reviewing that. I'm not sure that was accurate, and we're going to get on that quickly. I talked to the sheriff. I was impressed with his approach," Sessions said. "You need a fair and quick response to your inquiries about this and you're going to get it from me."

Sessions said Las Vegas has a "great cooperative system" with federal officials. He criticized cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Philadelphia for their failure to enforce immigration policies.

"They're not protecting law-abiding citizens. They're protecting the criminals!" Sessions said. "It's not good. I urge them to review what they're doing, to review those policies. It makes no sense to me."

Protesters gathered outside a restaurant where Sessions had breakfast and followed him to his speaking engagement. Undocumented immigrants like Erika Castro criticized his policies that require local agencies to work with ICE. She said she's worried the policy deters undocumented crime victims from calling 911 out of fear of deportation.

"When we have law enforcement working with ICE, people are afraid," Castro said. "I think his narrative is very racist."

LVMPD Deputy Chief Richard Suey, who serves at the division commander of the Detention Services Division praised Sessions for his commitment toward public safety and lower crime rates.

"The assistance, the direction and the focus have been unbelievable," Suey said. "We're getting the right people out of here that do not belong in our community."

The Associated Press contributed to this story. 

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