Published: Tue, August 08, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Chicago Sues Trump's Justice Department Over Withholding Funds To Sanctuary Cities

Chicago Sues Trump's Justice Department Over Withholding Funds To Sanctuary Cities

Missing out on the federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants could potentially cost sanctuary cities millions of dollars. Chicago will never give up our status as the friendly city, " the mayor declared at a press conference.

The complaint lists an impressive lineup of attorneys representing Chicago, including three who have served in or been nominated to top Justice Department roles in Democratic administrations.

Chicago is among several jurisdictions already locked in a legal battle with the Trump administration over an executive order, largely blocked by a federal court, aimed at withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities.

"CPD is here for you regardless of who you are or where you're from", Johnson said.

"We're going to act immediately", Emanuel said, "to make sure that there's a ruling by the court, as there's been on other issues as relates to immigration and refugee policies - where the court has basically stopped the Trump administration in its tracks".

In March, the Justice Department sent letters to officials in California and major cities including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans, all places the Justice Department's inspector general has identified as limiting the information local law enforcement can provide to federal immigration authorities about those in their custody.

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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.

The lawsuit, the first of its kind, challenges the Trump administration's requirement that cities detain suspects for questioning by federal immigration authorities or see their grant funding for municipal police departments withheld.

Siskel also said the city chose to file a lawsuit now, rather than after it had been denied a grant, because of the new conditions set last week. "So it's especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago's law enforcement at greater risk", the DOJ said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. "He's brought discipline, no doubt, to that effort", Emanuel said.

That programme provides money to hundreds of cities and Chicago expected to receive $3.2 million for purchasing equipment. Opponents argue the federal government is essentially trying to deputize local law enforcement and that everyday policing is made more hard when people are afraid to talk to the officers for fear their immigration status will be uncovered.

"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.

Two outside law firms are assisting the city with the case on a pro bono basis.

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