Chicago sues Trump administration over sanctuary city plan

08 August, 2017, 00:10 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during a press conference where sanctuary cities which don't arrest or detain immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and Chicago violence two issues raised by President Donald

Yet despite such pressing issues facing the city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has chose to focus on keeping Chicago's sanctuary city status safe. "It's not possible", said Mayor Emanuel.

The suit claims millions of dollars in federal grants should not be withheld from so-called sanctuary cities, CBS Chicago reported.

Emanuel described Sessions as using the police officers of Chicago as "political pawns". "We can not be forced to violate our residents' constitutional rights". 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".

According to The Guardian, Emanuel went on to say that, if Trump's funding restrictions succeed, it could be used as precedent to set conditions on other federal grants and ultimately exercise control over individual states and cities - something that, if true, would directly contradict Article 1 of the Constitution, which is concerned with the separation of Federal and State powers. On June 1, a task force was formed by the Chicago police, IL state police and the ATF to combat the gun violence in the city.

Eddie Johnson, Chicago's police superintendent, said the city "will not compromise the rights, safety or break the sacred trust of the people that live in and visit Chicago" in order to be eligible for federal funding.

"In 2016, more Chicagoans were murdered than in New York City and Los Angeles combined", Devin O'Malley, a DOJ spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News.




Indeed, notes Banzhaf, the only requirement applicable federal law imposes, under 8 U.S.C. 1373, is that state and local officials not prohibit or restrict employees from providing "information regarding citizenship or immigration status".

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.

The mayor said the city won't be "blackmailed" into changing its values as a welcoming city.

The lawsuit is the first to challenge the Justice Department over the Byrne program but is not the first legal attack on the administration's sanctuary city policies.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) criticized the lawsuit in a statement that accused Emanuel of "protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago's law enforcement at greater risk".

It remains one of the most overwhelmingly violent cities in America. But Emanuel said the equipment it buys is "needed" and called the effort to pull those grants "the camel's nose under the tent". "The City of Chicago will continue to stand up to President Trump and his Justice Department to ensure that their misguided policies do not threaten the safety of our residents".

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