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Identity & Community

Philadelphia Police Official Challenges Sessions On Crime

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Matt Rourke
/
AP
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia, Friday, July 21, 2017.

Philadelphia's police commissioner is challenging Attorney General Jeff Sessions for blaming immigrants for much of the nation's violent crime.

Commissioner Richard Ross says "young men from here" who are hopeless and dealing with poverty are a bigger problem.

Ross also says he doesn't think local law enforcement "belongs in the immigration business." He says it's tough enough for police to build bonds with local residents without having them worry about their immigration status.

Ross listened Friday as Sessions spoke to federal prosecutors in Philadelphia and criticized cities that give "sanctuary" to immigrants who commit crime. He says they should be deported.

Ross says Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney instead describes Philadelphia as a "welcoming city."

President Donald Trump has tried to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.

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