CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH SEEKS JUDGMENT DECLARING WELCOMING CITY RESOLUTION COMPLIANT WITH FED LAW
The City responded to a request from the DOJ to certify that the City’s Welcoming City resolution and related polices were in compliance with federal law
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (February 6, 2018)— On February 6, 2018, the City of West Palm Beach filed a complaint asking the Federal Court to declare that the City’s Welcoming City resolution complies with all federal laws. The City filed the lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ), after the DOJ raised concerns that City policies related to the resolution do not comply with federal law. As failure to resolve this issue could result in delayed or denied federal funding to the City, the City is appealing to the Court for swift resolution. Prior to filing this lawsuit, the City tried to work with DOJ in good faith to clearly explain and prove to them that there should be no reason for DOJ to continue to question the City’s compliance with federal law. DOJ, however, has refused to release the City from a list of cities that it is targeting as potential violators of federal law, even though the DOJ has provided no explanation as to why it thinks the City might not be complying with federal law.
The Welcoming City resolution seeks to foster trust between the immigrant population and City officials and employees and to encourage people of all backgrounds to take full advantage of the City’s resources and opportunities. The resolution clearly requires that all employees and police officers follow the law and does not in any way prohibit or restrict West Palm Beach employees and police officers from sharing information with any federal agency when it is required by federal law, state law, or local ordinance.
In November, 2017, the City responded to a request from the DOJ to certify that the City’s Welcoming City resolution and related polices were in compliance with federal law. The DOJ has now asked the City for additional documentation to support that assertion without providing any reason as to why it believes the City might not be in compliance with federal law. The City’s lawsuit is designed to help resolve this issue with the DOJ in a timely manner.