CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declined to attend a session with President Trump and fellow mayors at the White House on Wednesday.

The president played host to mayors across the country to discuss the growing economy, plans to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and discuss plans to fight the opioid epidemic.

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Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig was the only Illinois mayor on the list to attend.

Emanuel is in Washington for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

At a news conference, the mayor slammed the Trump administration for again threatening sanctuary cities that protect undocumented immigrants. In a memo, the Department of Justice  threatened legal action against the mayors unless they provided information to the federal government about illegal immigrants.

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“Our goal here is to ensure compliance with applicable federal law. Our goal is to ensure that jurisdictions that will comply with applicable federal law receive the grant money and can keep the grant money that they have already obtained,” a senior Justice Department official told CNN.

Emanuel said Chicago and other cities rely on community policing strategies to build trust and help fight crime.


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“You cannot do that if you drive a wedge between any immigrant community and the law enforcement. It is contrary to public safety, it’s contrary to the values of our nation, and it’s contrary to the ideals and the law as we established,” he said.