U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has officially listed New Orleans as a city that limits its cooperation with the agency, setting the stage for a potential showdown between President Donald Trump's administration and local officials led by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
The designation was spelled out in a report issued Monday by the Trump administration, which has said it plans to punish so-called "sanctuary cities" that limit or prohibit local law enforcement agencies from working with federal immigration authorities.
Trump has said that could include cutting off at least some federal funding for those jurisdictions.
New Orleans is one of more than 100 communities on the list, which is the result of an executive order Trump signed less than a week after taking office directing federal agencies to publicize jurisdictions that limit cooperation with immigration authorities.
The report cites more than 200 cases, including one in New Orleans, where it says local authorities did not comply with requests from ICE to detain undocumented immigrants for potential deportation.
The term "sanctuary cities" does not appear in the report, although the executive order that led to its creation refers to "sanctuary jurisdictions" and gives Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly the authority to give local communities that designation. Doing so could make cities and counties ineligible for federal grants.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order to withhold federal funds from…
The report notes that New Orleans will not honor a request to detain a person in the country illegally unless it receives a criminal warrant or judicial order.
Landrieu has argued that New Orleans should not be considered a "sanctuary city," in part because its immigration policies are spelled out in a court-ordered reform plan governing operations of the New Orleans Police Department.
In any case, the mayor has said he won't allow the NOPD to become a "deportation force."
From Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, the time period covered by the report, ICE issued almost 3,100 requests to local officials asking that they detain individuals. About 206 of those requests were denied, including 157 from 10 communities highlighted in the report, including Clark County, Nevada, which contains Las Vegas; Nassau County, New York; and Chicago.
During the week covered by the report, one request was denied in New Orleans, when the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office did not detain a Mexican citizen who had been convicted of battery.
Officials with Landrieu's administration and the Sheriff's Office did not respond to requests for comment Monday.
But Landrieu has previously said he does not believe Trump's executive order "will endanger any federal funding, and there will be no change in our policy."
"The city does now and will continue to follow federal laws, and we will continue to make sure that we arrest and convict violent criminals, regardless of their immigration status," Landrieu said in an earlier statement.
"But the NOPD will not be President Trump's deportation force," he added. "Doing so would require the NOPD to pull officers focused on fighting crime off the street."