Chicago to Sue Trump Administration Over Sanctuary City Funding Threats

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 26: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during a press conference to announce the use of a mobile ballistics lab being operated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tabaco and Firearms (ATF) in Chicago to help process ballistic evidence at crime scenes on June 26, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. According to The Huffington Post, Emanuel emphasized that Chicago "will not relinquish our status as a welcoming city".

Under the new instructions، police departments are required to inform federal officials of an illegal immigrant's release at least 48 hours in advance.

The DOJ did not immediately comment on Sunday. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who oversees what is considered a "sanctuary county" that also could lose funding, said in a statement that she supports the mayor's effort.

However, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in July that cities that do not comply with the Trump administration's policies of aggressively pursuing and deporting undocumented immigrants "make all of us less safe".

Chicago ordinance bars police from providing immigration agents' access to local jails unless the detainees are wanted on a criminal warrant or have a serious criminal record, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Officials said there are new qualifications for a public safety grant requiring cities to share information with federal immigration authorities.

The 46-page lawsuit filed Monday says that "neither federal law nor the United States Constitution permits the Attorney General to force Chicago to abandon. critical local policy" on immigrants. "Over the years, Chicago has used Byrne grants for a variety of purposes that benefit public safety, including the purchase of SWAT equipment, police vehicles, radios and Tasers". This bill would make good on President Trump's promise to pull all federal funding earmarked for law enforcement in so-called sanctuary cities.


"The Department of Justice can not commandeer local law enforcement to carry out federal immigration law functions", said Ed Siskel, the city's lawyer.

In that case, even the Justice Department's lawyers acknowledged in court that the department's ability to withhold federal funding from states and local governments is limited to a small number of grants.

The Justice Department responded to the announcement of the lawsuit saying "it's tragic the mayor is less concerned with violence than he is with spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens". "He's brought discipline, no doubt, to that effort", Emanuel said.

"In 2016, more Chicagoans were murdered than in New York City and Los Angeles combined", Devin O'Malley, the spokesman, said in an email.

"I think it is a smart lawsuit", said Mr. Villegas, whose ward was the site of a shooting this year involving an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent that raised tensions among residents.

The law firms filing the suit pro bono on behalf of Chicago are Riley Safer and WilmerHale.


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