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Trump meets with mayors after some cancel

Trump on sanctuary cities
Trump defends DOJ crackdown on sanctuary cities 15:42

New York City Mayor Mayor Bill de Blasio and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced they would not be attending the White House for a scheduled meeting between mayors and President Trump Wednesday afternoon. 

That's because the Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it sent letters to 23 jurisdictions, demanding they produce documents to show whether they are unlawfully restricting information about immigration status with federal immigration authorities as a part of a compliance review. Those jurisdictions are at risk of losing federal grant money, and if they don't hand over the records, they could face a subpoena, according to the DOJ. Mr. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have made a point of cracking down on so-called sanctuary cities -- cities that withhold information from federal immigration authorities. 

"Sanctuary cities are the best friends of gangs and cartels like MS-13, you know that," Mr. Trump said in a statement after the meeting, saying mayors who have sanctuary cities place illegal immigrants over the safety of American citizens. 

He also said mayors have done some "bad work" for African-Americans when it comes to unemployment, touting the historically low unemployment figures for African-Americans under his presidency so far.

The White House meeting came during the Conference of Mayors' Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., this week. Mr. Trump said the vast majority of mayors invited attended. 

"I will NOT be attending today's meeting at the White House after @realDonaldTrump's Department of Justice decided to renew their racist assault on our immigrant communities," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a tweet Wednesday. "It doesn't make us safer and it violates America's core values."

Landrieu, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said at a press conference Wednesday he wouldn't attend due to "false pretenses" of discussing infrastructure, after the letter. 

During the press conference, a chorus of mayors also said they would not be attending. 

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told CBS News she would be willing to go to jail to stand up to the administration, calling the president's policies "unconscionable" and "un-American." 

On Wednesday afternoon, the mayors were slated to discuss the economy and how to address the opioid epidemic and the country's aging infrastructure. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, during the White House briefing, said the DOJ is simply enforcing the law.

"If mayors have a problem with that, they should talk to Congress," she said.

CBS News' Kathryn Watson contributed to this report. 

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