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City Argues It Complies With Federal Immigration Law In Response To Homeland Security

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia complies with federal immigration law on information sharing.

That's the assertion in a letter the city is sending to the Justice Department in response to an April demand by Homeland Security.

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The April letter threatened to claw back a $1.7 million grant to the police department unless the city verified it shares information with ICE -- the federal immigration agency.

City Solicitor Sozi Tulante says it does.

"We share information through data bases and ICE has access to that information," Tulante said.

The information doesn't include immigration status because the city doesn't ask, a 16-year city policy, which Mayor Jim Kenney says is not going to change because it has helped make the city safer by improving cooperation between police and the immigrant community.

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Kenney sought to reassure that community.

"I know this is a very scary time and there are a lot of rumors flying around, so I want to make one thing very clear: as your mayor I will treat you like I would any other resident of this great city, regardless of your immigration status," said Kenney.

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