Selected News Clips From USCM Meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions


On Tuesday, April 25th U.S. Conference of Mayors leadership met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss a range of public safety issues, including reducing violent crime, strengthening police-community relations, criminal justice reform, and Justice Department provisions in January 25 interior enforcement Executive Order.

Meeting participants included:  USCM Vice President New Orleans (LA) Mayor Mitch Landrieu, USCM Second Vice President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin, USCM Immigration Reform Task Force Co-Chair Providence (RI) Mayor Jorge Elorza, USCM Criminal and Social Justice Committee Chair Gary (IN) Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, USCM Advisory Board Member Austin (TX) Mayor Steve Adler, Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director, USCM and Major Cities Chiefs Association President Montgomery County (MD) Police Chief Tom Manger.

Below are selected news clips from that meeting:

MSNBC—Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell

Judge Blames Trump Administration for Executive Order Failure

“Mayors have been asking for clarity on the term ‘sanctuary city for the last several months.” – Mayor Elorza


MSNBC—Morning Joe

New Orleans Mayor Discusses City’s Deportation Stance

“There is no clarity right now between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice about what a sanctuary city is.”  — Mayor Landrieu


USA Today: A multimillion-dollar question: What’s a ‘sanctuary city?’

“We’re happy to work with the president, but they have to understand what they’re talking about.  You can’t accuse us of violating the rules if you haven’t told us what the rules are.”  — Mitch Landrieu 



Trump team reassures mayors with narrow ‘sanctuary cities’ definition

“What we were hearing both yesterday and today was a narrowing of what might be called a sanctuary city or a violative city than what a lot of us feared it might be.”

– Mayor Adler


Washington Post

Trump’s Sanctuary City Order Blocked by Federal Judge in San Francisco

The Conference has long opposed the withholding of funds from so-called ‘sanctuary cities,’ which, of course, is a political term not a legal one,” executive director Tom Cochran said in a statement.”  — Tom Cochran



Mayors Grapple with Sanctuary Label After Sessions Meeting

On a number of immigration issues, “we hear very different messages from (Homeland Security), DOJ and also the White House,” Elorza said. “Just give us clarity and please have one, clear policy so we can know where we stand.” – Mayor Elorza


CNN Politics

Judge Blocks Part of Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Executive Order

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the meeting “productive” in a briefing with reporters afterward, but said mayors still lacked “focus and clarity” from the administration on which cities were at risk of losing money and how much.

– Mayor Landrieu


The Post and Courier

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin Calls of AG Jeff Sessions to Explain Trump Immigration Enforcement Policies

“We just need constitutional clarity and cohesiveness among the federal agencies, as we’re dealing with a very serious issue in public safety and constitutional freedoms.”

— Mayor Benjamin



About the Author:

Sara Durr is our Director of Communications at the Conference. She can be contacted by phone at 202-215-1811 or via email at