Sessions blasts Chicago legal action
CHICAGO (AP) _ Attorney General Jeff Sessions has hit back hard at Chicago after the city filed a lawsuit that argues the Trump administration’s bid to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities is illegal.
A Monday statement from Sessions was issued hours after the city filed its lawsuit in Chicago federal court that defends cities that limit cooperation with enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.
Sessions’ says Chicago leaders have “demonstrated an open hostility to enforcing laws designed to protect law enforcement … and reduce crime.”
Sessions says the Trump administration “will not simply give away grant dollars to city governments that proudly violate the rule of law and protect criminal aliens at the expense of public safety.” And he adds, “So it’s this simple: Comply with the law or forego taxpayer dollars.”
The head of Chicago’s legal office says the city will follow up on a newly filed lawsuit with a request to a federal judge to halt to a Trump administration immigration policy of withholding certain public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities.
Edward Siskel spoke to reporters Monday at U.S. District Court in Chicago just after the 46-page suit was filed.
The request for a preliminary injunction could happen within days. If a judge grants it, it could put a freeze on the policy at least until the civil case plays out.
Siskel says Chicago had to take a stand because of what he called “the rhetoric and the threats” from the Trump administration to yank funds from cities that don’t adhere to its immigration priorities. He says it was “breeding a culture and a climate of fear.”
The city of Chicago has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a Trump administration immigration stance, alleging it’s illegal for the government to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities.
The 46-page lawsuit filed Monday says that “neither federal law nor the United States Constitution permits the Attorney General to force Chicago to abandon… critical local policy” on immigrants.
Chicago has been a sanctuary city for decades where city employees aren’t allowed to ask about immigration status.
Chicago officials say there are new qualifications for a federal public safety grant requiring cities to share information with federal immigration authorities, which they allege are unconstitutional.
Chicago received over $2 million in such grants last year, which have been used for buying police vehicles and other things.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago will continue fighting President Donald Trump’s immigration policies with a lawsuit alleging it’s illegal for the government to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities.
The federal lawsuit is expected to be filed Monday. A day earlier Emanuel said Chicago won’t “be blackmailed” into changing its values as a welcoming city.
Chicago officials say there are new qualifications for a grant requiring cities to share information with federal immigration authorities, which they allege are unconstitutional.
Chicago received over $2 million in such grants last year, which have been used for buying police vehicles.
Two law firms are helping Chicago with the case on a pro bono basis.
Federal oficials threatened to withhold funding for sanctuary cities, saying they don’t comply with federal laws.