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UPDATE: Chicago Files Lawsuit to Fight DOJ Sanctuary City Threats

by Countable | 1.5.18

UPDATE - January 5, 2017: The Justice Department has asked an Illinois federal judge to dismiss a Chicago lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's attempt to withhold grants from so-called sanctuary cities.

As the AP explained, "The department's 26-page motion filed Wednesday says Chicago has no legal grounds for insisting on its 'entitlement' to federal grants while simultaneously refusing to provide what the filing calls 'basic cooperation in immigration enforcement.'"

Countable's original story appears below.


What's the story?

The Trump Administration has threatened it will withhold funds from so-called sanctuary cities and, on Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Law Department filed a federal lawsuit against the Justice Department over its attempt to limit those funds.

The DOJ has said it will bar cities from receiving Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants if the cities do not cooperate with immigration agents and meet three conditions. These conditions, as explained by the Chicago Tribune, are "sharing immigration status information with federal officials enforcing deportation laws, providing unlimited police station access to those officials, and giving the officials 48-hours notice of an arrested person’s release in cases of potential immigration violations."

Why does it matter?

The policy would affect cities beyond Chicago, including New York, Miami, Boston, Houston and 37 other jurisdictions. The grants provide funding for equipment and law enforcement training. If the DOJ withholds funds, Chicago is set to lose $3.2 million worth of funding.

Trump campaigned on a hard-line immigration policy, which included building a border wall with Mexico and deporting the "bad hombres." Upon being elected, he issued a number of immigration-based executive orders aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants. And in late June, the President met with victims of immigration crime, whom he told, “You lost people that you love because our government refused to enforce our nation's immigration laws and that's including the existing immigration laws.”

According to statisticsby the Justice Department, immigration offenses account for half of all federal arrests.

In a news conference about the lawsuit, Emanuel said, "Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate. Chicago will not let our residents have their fundamental rights isolated and violated. And Chicago will never relinquish our status as a welcoming city."

The Justice Department specifically mentioned the mayor in its response.

"In 2016, more Chicagoans were murdered than in New York City and Los Angeles combined," Sarah Isgur Flores, a DOJ spokeswoman, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “So it’s especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is in spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago’s law enforcement at greater risk.”

While Chicago was the first city to file suit, other cities are considering similar legal action, including the Attorney General of California, which has declared itself a "sanctuary state."

"The city of Chicago may be the first to bring a lawsuit," Emanuel said, “but I’m also confident we will not be the last.”

Should the DOJ withhold funds from "sanctuary cities"? Or should cities stand up to the Trump administration on this matter? Are you concerned about illegal immigrants? Hit the Take Action button and let your reps know.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: Daniel X. O'Neil / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(96)
  • Brian
    08/08/2017
    ···

    I think there is a middle ground to be found. We need the federal money and they need our help in fighting the gangs that are ravaging certain neighborhoods with their violence spilling over into historically safe neighborhoods. I'm not at all in favor of expediting non violent offenders, particularly if they are otherwise contributing members of society. However, this blanket policy of never cooperating with ICE is seriously flawed. There are men and women that come here to take advantage of those flaws. Those people must be weeded out and stopped. Personally any 'illegal' immigrants I know are hard working family people. They should be left alone. There is clearly a delicate balance that must be found. Thus far we are talking only about two extremes and not discussing the middle ground. As an aside I think being a verified gang member should be a crime in and of itself. And the penalties should be aggressive, particularly when the offenders are adults.

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  • Bfowler7
    08/08/2017
    ···

    Agree with this move from AG Sessions. Chicago Mayor has not halted the growing gang violence and like his Mentor Obama seems to sympathize with the gangs. The Mayor is not above the Law. I am surprised the residents of Chicago hasn't replaced him as Mayor!

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  • Melanie
    08/08/2017
    ···

    Good for Chicago and the mayor. The DOJ comment about the number of murders committed in Chicago is a weak attempt to defame immigrants. I want to know how many of those murders were committed by illegal immigrants. Another cheap shot from DJT and Sessions to blame all our woes onto others. This is sick and repulsive. Lady Liberty is about ready to fall down by this xenophobic bigoted behavior.

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  • Kathy
    08/08/2017
    ···

    If these States want to protect People who are illegally in our Country and those who have committed crimes and hide out in these Cities, they need to be sue for endangering USA Citizens.

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  • Roger
    08/09/2017
    ···

    Hi who in their right mind would stop federal agents from arresting immigrant criminals in their cities? Are they part of the US or not, protecting criminals to get minority's votes in criminal in itself! Roger

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  • Jo
    08/08/2017
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    Good for Chicago. Other cities and states should follow his example.

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  • Mike
    08/09/2017
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    I believe it was in April of 2012 that the Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 3 vote that the Federal Government can set immigration policy laws. In the case against Arizona the Supreme Court ruled that the state may not pursue policies that undermine Federal Law.

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  • Kim
    08/08/2017
    ···

    Put Emanuel in jail.

    Like (10)
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  • Chelle
    08/08/2017
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    Law enforcement needs to be able to function within their communities with a level of trust and respect. Likewise, people need to be able to trust that law enforcement is working to actually protect and serve! Sanctuary cities have assembled the best factors and local characteristics for law enforcement officials to safely and successfully work with their citizenry within their cities recognizing the uniqueness of their own community needs. This should be allowed to continue and, in fact, needs encouraged as the preferred method of community 'policing'.

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  • Sdmillard
    01/05/2018
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    This is entirely foolish. Chicago is not entitled to anything while criminals are harbored there. Criminals being anyone who committed a crime; illegal immigration is a crime.

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  • operaman
    08/08/2017
    ···

    Rahm starts a pillow fight. Wants Federal aid to fight Chicago crime but not illegal alien crime. Oxymoron, incredulous or enigma?

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  • Judith
    08/08/2017
    ···

    GET RID OF SESSIONS !!!!! SEND HIM OVER TO ISIS !!! STONE HIIM OR SOMETHING ANYTHING JUST GET RID OF HIM !!!!! HE'S AN AGITATOR FOR TRUMP TRYING TO START A CIVIL WAR TO FURTHER DESTABILIZE OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND ENTRENCH TRUMPS ATTEMPTED USA COUP !!!!! THE FEAR MONGERS THAT BACK TRUMP AND SESSIONS NEED TO BE ARRESTED FOR TREASON !!!!

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  • KansasTamale
    08/09/2017
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    Normally immigrants & their ability to become an American is left up to the federal government, but THIS IS NOT NORMAL TIMES. The throwing out of people who have been doing what they are supposed to do, separating families, setting up border guards 100 miles from the border, and so many other things that should not be happening. YET TRUMP JUST ASKED FOR SPECIAL VISAS FOR PEOPLE TO WORK IN MARA LAGO THIS FALL. WHAT HAPPENED TO HIRE AMERICAN??? The states should be able to stop the stupidity of this White House.

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  • Terry
    08/08/2017
    ···

    People of Chicago wake up. He is a liberal socialist hypocrite out for his own personal gain. He is friends will Bill and Hillary if that tells you anything.

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  • Tim
    01/05/2018
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    During the last Administration we saw a continued movement towards the rights of noncitizens over the rights of US citizens. It was almost as though citizens had no unique rights in this country. Hats off to AG Sessions and the current Administration for understanding the unique role that the United States Government has in ensuring the rights and protections of US citizens. I would ask the Chicago mayor, “What would you say to the parents of Kate Steinle and how would you prevent a repeat in Chicago of this unnecessary tragedy?”

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  • Lee
    01/06/2018
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    Chicagoans wise up! When it comes to illegal immigration and the Mayor of Chicago, Ram Emmanuel issues a proclamation to protect illegals is unconstitutional. The Federal Government trumps State Laws. The Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2) establishes that FEDERAL LAWS and TREATIES constitute the Supreme Law of the Land. Even State Constitutions are Subordinate to Federal Laws.

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  • Kim
    01/05/2018
    ···

    Sue someone else because you are breaking the law. Sounds like liberal common sense to me. Like it or not the law is the law. If you don’t not like the federal law elect people to change it. Oh that’s right the dems lost the election.

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  • Terry
    01/05/2018
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    The C in Chicago stands for corruption.

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  • Robert
    01/05/2018
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    They need to First Lock up the Corrupt Clown Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He is a Total Full Blooded Idiot!!

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  • HockeyGuy
    01/05/2018
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    ICE is an increasing threat to our security. ICE should be disbanded or ordered to go after the white supremacists who are a direct threat to our security!

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