Chicago to sue Justice Department over 'sanctuary city' status

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Chicago to sue Justice Department over 'sanctuary city' status

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. Chicago will never give up our status as the friendly city, " the mayor declared at a press conference.

"We are bringing this legal challenge because the rhetoric, the threats from this administration embodied in these new conditions imposed on unrelated public safety grants funds are breeding a culture and climate of fear", Emanuel's senior legal adviser, Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel, said on Monday. "We're going to take the Justice Department to court based on this".

The City of Chicago is filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department to protect federal grant money after the Trump administration changed the rules to apply.

Sessions announced in July that the Justice Department would bar cities from receiving grant money for local law enforcement unless the cities give federal law enforcement access to local jails and notify the federal government when the city is about to release an undocumented immigrant from jail.

In a letter to Sessions, Republican Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry denied his city is a sanctuary for immigrants living in the country illegally and said he has been trying to work with immigration authorities since taking office in 2009. They say Chicago police officers make no inquiries about immigration status because doing so might fracture residents' trust of the police and discourage those here illegally from reporting crimes or cooperating as witnesses, making the streets more unsafe. The lawsuit contends that the USA government can not "commandeer local law enforcement to carry out federal immigration law functions".

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

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.

That programme provides money to hundreds of cities and Chicago expected to receive $3.2 million for purchasing equipment. Chicago had 50 more homicides than NY and Los Angeles combined through mid-June, even though it is far less populous than both.

"Chicago's Welcoming City ordinance promotes public safety by ensuring that no city resident, regardless of their status, is afraid to cooperate with law enforcement, report criminal activity to the police, serve as a witness in court or seek help as a victim of crime", Emanuel added.

"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.

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