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US Justice Dept says sanctuary cities are violating the law

WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The United States Justice Department singled out five cities and counties on Thursday for allegedly having so-called "sanctuary policies" that may violate a federal law which requires them to communicate with federal immigration officials about a person's citizenship status.

The department said Thursday that Cook County in Illinois, Chicago, New Orleans, New York City and Philadelphia "have preliminarily been found" to have policies that violate the law. It is giving those jurisdictions until Oct. 27 to provide evidence demonstrating compliance. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)