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Mitch Landrieu cancels White House meeting over sanctuary city threat

New Orleans Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D), president of the United States Conference of Mayors, has cancelled his meeting with the White House on Wednesday — joining New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — after the Justice Department threatens to subpoena 23 so-called sanctuary cites as part of a crackdown.

The background: Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked the municipalities to submit documents showing whether they’re unlawfully withholding information from federal immigration authorities or else they would face subpoenas. Sessions said he's concerned that they're not in compliance with federal immigration law.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told CNN that Landrieu and de Blasio are making a “political stunt instead of participating in an important discussion with the President and his administration."

  • More than 100 mayors are gathering at the White House to discuss infrastructure and other issues.

Landrieu's full statement:

“Many mayors of both parties were looking forward to visiting the White House today to speak about infrastructure and other issues of pressing importance to the 82 percent of Americans who call cities home. Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s decision to threaten mayors and demonize immigrants yet again – and use cities as political props in the process – has made this meeting untenable.

“The U.S. Conference of Mayors is proud to be a bipartisan organization. But an attack on mayors who lead welcoming cities is an attack on everyone in our conference.

“When the President is prepared to engage in an honest conversation about the future of our shared constituencies, we will be honored to join him. Until that time, mayors of both parties will work together to keep our cities safe, hold this administration accountable to its promises, and protect immigrant communities – with or without Washington’s help.”

De Blasio's tweet: