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December 17, 2017

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Sanctuary review finds Clark County in compliance with immigration law

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Steve Marcus

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks to representatives from federal, state, and local law enforcement at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

Clark County is not a sanctuary jurisdiction, according to a review conducted by the Department of Justice.

The county was among those selected for review to determine whether it cooperates with federal immigration authorities. An Aug. 3 letter to the county from acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson says “no evidence” was found to show Clark County is out of compliance with federal immigration law.

Clark County has been part of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement 287(g) program for about a decade. The initiative means people who are in the country illegally and arrested as suspects for other crimes can be held for two days for immigration authorities.

County spokesman Erik Pappa provided the letter Friday.

“We are hopeful that the $975,604 in public safety funding provided by the 2016 JAG (Justice Assistance Grant(Justice Assistance Grant) we were awarded will be released soon,” he said.

Federal officials reviewed compliance with a law that says “Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

Some cities have policies in place that say local authorities do not have to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The Justice Department has signaled a crackdown on these communities, citing a tie to public safety.

“As a reminder, complying with section 1373 is an ongoing requirement that the Office of Justice Programs will continue to monitor,” Hanson said in the letter.