LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reviewed Louisville Metro's newly enacted Separation Ordinance and found it to be in compliance with federal law, the Jefferson County Attorney's Office told Metro Council members on Saturday.
"At the time this ordinance was discussed and passed, we were confident that we were dealing with a public safety issue and there was never any intention to hinder federal enforcement of immigration laws. I am pleased that the DOJ is satisfied with what was passed and we can move forward," Metro Council President David James (D-6) said.
The decision is a win for Louisville after the U.S. Department of Justice threatened to come down on the immigration ordinance earlier this year.
"The City of Louisville does not discriminate based on immigration status nor does our police enforce federal civil immigration law. LMPD's job is to enforce criminal law, and Louisville is a place of welcome for all," Councilman Brandon Coan (D-8) said.
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The ordinance was passed in October 2017 and set guidelines for how local agencies, like police, work with immigration officials. Under the ordinance, public safety officials in Louisville can assist ICE only with a warrant signed by a judge - or if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) thinks the situation poses a clear danger to the public.
It set guidelines for how local police work with federal officials in the enforcement of immigration laws. The ordinance also set guidelines for all metro employees, and prohibited the questioning of someone's immigration status.
Louisville Metro was one of dozens of jurisdictions across the country that was targeted by the federal government as a result of the immigration ordinance.
The federal government had placed Louisville on a list with several other cities they deemed to be in violation of federal law. At one point, the Trump Administration and the Department of Justice threatened to take away grants over the ordinance.
The ordinance specifically states: "Nothing in this section prohibits Metro Government from sending to, or receiving from, any local, state or federal agency information regarding an individual's citizenship or immigration status. Federal law does not allow any such prohibition."
See the full clearance letter from the DOJ and the ordinance below.