New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was invited to the White House on Wednesday but declined the invitation because of a Justice Department crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities.

Sanctuary cities are deemed so due to their public policies which show some level of acceptance of illegal immigration.
Along with Landrieu, several other mayors also declined their invitation to the White House because of a letter the Justice Department sent to 23 sanctuary cities Wednesday, asking for greater compliance with federal immigration law.


The letter asks cities to provide law enforcement documents showing they are cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in the letter that he would use subpoena power to get these documents if cities refuse to willingly turn them over.


"An attack on one of our cities' mayors who is following the Constitution is an attack on all of us. I will not be attending that meeting," Landrieu said at a Wednesday news conference Washington.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio joined in, tweeting that he also would not be going to the meeting. “...Trump’s Department of Justice decided to renew their racist assault on our immigrant communities," he wrote. "It doesn't make us safer and it violates America's core values."
To those who did attend the meeting, it was reported that Trump said, "The mayors who chose to boycott this event have put needs of criminal illegal immigrants over law-abiding Americans, but let me tell you, the vast majority of people showed up.


New Orleans has never formally declared itself a sanctuary city. The city is not allowed by federal civil charges to take part in President Trump’s immigration enforcement policies. “(New Orleans) is under court orders not to racially profile anyone so it does not stop people based on race nor does it take the time and energy to check into people’s immigration status for traffic or non-violent misdemeanors, according to Bill Quigley, Director of the Loyola Law Clinic.  “The federal court order makes it clear the NOPD cannot do that.”


In an Oct. 2017 letter to Sessions, Landrieu wrote, “Under my Administration, the New Orleans Police Department has and will continue to follow all federal laws. However, New Orleans will not be side-tracked by caustic, political rhetoric that seeks to make us fearful of others and scapegoat immigrants. The NOPD will continue to focus on the arrest and conviction of violent criminals, regardless of their immigration status.”