Chicago Mayor Sues Trump Administration, Sessions Fires Back
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Monday that the City of Chicago will be suing the Trump administration due to a new policy of federal cash being withheld from cities that deny U.S. immigration officials access to local jails, also called a sanctuary city.
The threat of court action comes weeks after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that local governments will lose federal money if they do not give notice when illegal immigrants are about to be released from custody. Additionally, local police would be required to give Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents access to local jails.
The Democratic mayor stated:
“The Trump Justice Department has announced new restrictions on Byrne Grants and is asking the City of Chicago in my view to choose between our core values as a welcoming city and our fundamental principles of community policing. It is a false and wrong choice.”
A Byrne Grant is federal money given to police departments. The Obama administration offered funding with no strings attached, but the Trump administration has placed requirements in order to counter high crime rates.
Sessions fired back, saying that Emanuel and Chicago officials “have demonstrated an open hostility to enforcing laws designed to protect law enforcement — federal, state, and local — and reduce crime, and instead have adopted an official policy of protecting criminal aliens who prey on their own residents.”
“This is astounding given the unprecedented violent crime surge in Chicago, with the number of murders in 2016 surpassing both New York and Los Angeles combined,” continued Sessions. “The city’s leaders cannot follow some laws and ignore others and reasonably expect this horrific situation to improve.”
“No amount of federal taxpayer dollars will help a city that refuses to help its own residents.”
The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court, states that the federal policies force the city to choose between its Constitutional rights and funding for law enforcement.
Additionally, the lawsuit says, “These new conditions also fly in the face of longstanding City policy that promotes cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities.”
Emanuel often expresses his opposition to the Trump administration and its immigration policies. In the past year, he has pushed to strengthen Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance, has reinstated Chicago’s status as a sanctuary city, and has actively barred police from providing ICE access to illegals in local custody.
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