Sessions Presses Immigration Agenda in a Sanctuary City

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PHILADELPHIA — A day after vowing to stay in his job despite a reproof from the president, Attorney General Jeff Sessions pressed his immigration agenda on Friday in Philadelphia, a so-called sanctuary city that limits its cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

“The residents of Philadelphia have been victimized,” Mr. Sessions told federal prosecutors here, denouncing the city for “giving sanctuary to criminals.”

Philadelphia’s police commissioner later rebutted Mr. Sessions, saying the city now had “one of the lowest crime rates since the 1970s.”

The Justice Department has threatened Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and other sanctuary cities with the loss of federal grant money and is reviewing their declarations that they are in compliance with a related federal statute. Such cities resist some federal immigration efforts by declining to ask about an individual’s immigration status or failing to honor federal requests to detain possible deportable immigrants for two days beyond when they would otherwise be released.

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