'Sanctuary City' Chicago to File Suit Against Trump Administration

08 August, 2017, 00:09 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and California Gov. Jerry Brown

The city of Chicago filed suit Monday against the Donald Trump administration for withholding funds from so-called "sanctuary cities" that fail to cooperate with tougher federal efforts cracking down on undocumented immigrants.

Chicago, IL, will sue the Justice Department over its continued threats to defund sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with its demands, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Sunday. The mayor also argued that the Trump administration's actions are "unlawful and unconstitutional".

Chicago officials say there are new qualifications for a grant that requires cities to share information with USA immigration authorities, which they allege are unconstitutional.

Police and officials in those cities have said enforcing federal immigration laws discourages immigrants from coming forward to report crimes.

"Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate", Emanuel, a Democrat and former White House chief of staff to Barack Obama, said at a news conference. Chicago will not allow to selectively violate the fundamental rights of our residents. The government can't "unilaterally concoct and import into" the grant program "sweeping new policy conditions that were never approved (and indeed were considered and rejected) by Congress and that would federalize local jails and police stations, mandate warrantless detentions in order to investigate for federal civil infractions, sow fear in local immigrant communities, and ultimately make the people of Chicago less safe".

That could force the Police Department to hold men and women under investigation longer than the constitutionally mandated 48 hours, Siskel said. "We are asking the court to ensure that we are not forced to either forego critical grant funds or agree to new conditions, which violate the Constitution and our Welcoming City ordinance".

Applications for FY2017 Byrne Grants are due on September 5, 2017.

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"If you let it stand, then it actually begins to not be challenged and this is one of many things that the Trump administration has been very clear that they've narrowed the focus, but this is the camel's nose under the tent", said Mayor Emanuel.

Chicago had expected to receive $3.2 million this year from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants, and had planned to devote most of the funding to police vehicles.

Besides Chicago، the warning was issued to the state of California as well as New York City، New Orleans، Philadelphia، Las Vegas، Miami and Milwaukee.

When asked for comment about the lawsuit Monday, the Department of Justice spokesman directed The Associated Press to Sessions' previous comments, including those saying sanctuary cities threaten safety. "One Chicago" was recently established in response to the growing needs of the city's refugee and immigrant populations.

According to Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Eddie Johnson, federal funding has been a great help to Chicago and removing it. "He's brought discipline, no doubt, to that effort", Emanuel said.

"Section 1373 does not specifically address restrictions by state or local entities on cooperation with ICE regarding detainers".

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