LAWRENCE (AP) — A Massachusetts city is among the communities receiving a warning from President Trump’s administration as it seeks to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities.

Lawrence is among 23 jurisdictions including Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles that received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday. The agency warned that it could use subpoena powers to compel the cities and states to prove they’re cooperating with immigration authorities.

The department has previously threatened to deny communities federal grant money if they refused to share such information.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera says Wednesday’s letter came as a surprise because his administration responded to the agency in December. He says the city has helped federal authorities apprehend criminals living in the country illegally on at least nine recent occasions.

Rivera told WBZ-TV the letter is frustrating because it divides the community.

“We already do what everybody wants us to do which is if we find a criminal, who is undocumented, we turn them over to ICE, we do that,” Rivera said. “But what we don’t do and we’ve never done in this country, is take kids out of the classrooms, moms out of workplaces, people who aren’t causing any unsafety in the community.”

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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