Providence unlikely to fit Trump administration’s sanctuary-city definition

PROVIDENCE – The state’s capital does not appear to fit the definition of “sanctuary city” recently released by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, WPRI-TV CBS 12 reported May 23.

Sessions released a memo on May 22 in which he defines sanctuary jurisdictions as places that “willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373,” a federal law banning communities from prohibiting or restricting the sharing of immigration information with federal immigration officers.

While Providence police are not allowed to question individuals about their immigration status, there is no ordinance prohibiting them from sharing information with the federal government if they learn someone is here illegally.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order in January threatening to cut federal grants to sanctuary cities.

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A spokesperson for Mayor Jorge O. Elorza’s administration told WPRI-TV an initial review of Sessions’ memo suggests Providence is not at risk of being labeled a sanctuary city and losing federal funds.

According to WPRI-TV, Providence received $2.7 million in Justice Department grants from 2013-2016.