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Cranston will help immigration agents, unlike other cities

August 10, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Cranston Mayor Allan Fung is promising to notify the federal government when immigrants in the country illegally are detained by police in his city, unlike other Rhode Island mayors.

Fung, a Republican candidate for governor, said Friday he signed an agreement this week as a way to ensure that criminals in the country illegally cannot continue to commit crimes in Cranston.

The federal government is requiring cities receiving public safety grants to notify federal agents when immigrants in the country illegally are being released from police detention. Federal agents also would have to be granted access to law enforcement facilities to question immigrants.

Providence and Central Falls sued the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday over those conditions. Several states, including Rhode Island, and cities have filed similar suits.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa said their police officers will not be forced to act as federal immigration agents. Friday is the deadline to accept the funds that were awarded with the new conditions, but the federal government has agreed to indefinitely extend the deadline to accept the award until the litigation is resolved, the Democratic mayors said.

Fung said that if elected governor, he’d cooperate with immigration authorities and fight “sanctuary cities.”

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has criticized the Trump administration’s immigration policies. She signed a bill in June to allow “Dreamers” to continue getting driver’s licenses in the state as the federal government weighs immigration policy.

Her campaign said Friday that the governor supports the lawsuit filed by the state’s attorney general “objecting to local Rhode Island law enforcement being co-opted to advance the Trump administration’s agenda.”

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