Chicago to sue Trump Justice Dept. over funding threat, mayor says

Report: California AG Considering Suit Against Trump Administration Over 'Sanctuary Cities' Threat

At a rare Sunday afternoon press conference, Mayor Rahm Emanuel cast the effort by Trump administration efforts as an attempt to force Chicago to choose between its renewed commitment to community policing and its status as a self-declared "sanctuary city", where officers are prohibited from cooperating with federal immigration agents in most cases. Chicago will not allow to selectively violate the fundamental rights of our residents.

But since sanctuary cities usually simply have police never question people about their status, officials would have no citizenship and/or immigrant status information available to share which would be restricted, so there would be no violation, and the threat appears to be largely an empty one.

Todd gets reaction from Robert Law, Government Relations Director for FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Mayor Emanuel, with support from other city leaders, also made it clear Chicago will continue to protect illegal immigrants. Since the grant only accounts for a small percentage of the city's budget, he can afford to lose the funding while positioning himself as a "high-profile bulwark" against the Trump administration - which could help him court more Hispanic voters.

Chicago's lawsuit comes after two counties successfully blocked a January executive order by President Donald Trump that ordered the Justice Department to withhold funding from sanctuary jurisdictions. Chicago becomes the first city to sue the Justice Department over this issue.

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"It's especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago's law enforcement at greater risk", said department spokesman Ian D. Prior in an email.

"We are filing this suit because the Attorney General does not have the authority to add these requirements to a grant program created by Congress and can not commandeer local law enforcement to carry out federal immigration law functions", said Siskel.

Emanuel said on Sunday that the lawsuit would prevent the administration from setting a precedent that could be used to target other funding.

In March, the Justice Department sent letters to officials in California and major cities including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans, all places the Justice Department's inspector general has identified as limiting the information local law enforcement can provide to federal immigration authorities about those in their custody.

Monday morning, the city will file a lawsuit in federal court against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "He's brought discipline, no doubt, to that effort", Emanuel said. Additionally, many of these agencies have kept ICE agents from entering local jails to interview suspects. Over the years the city has purchased SWAT equipment, police vehicles, radios and Tasers with the money.

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