Chicago sues Trump administration over sanctuary city plan

Chicago sues Trump administration over sanctuary city plan

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said his city plans to file a lawsuit Monday against the Trump administration, claiming it is illegal for the federal government to withhold public safety money.

Yet despite such pressing issues facing the city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made a decision to focus on keeping Chicago's sanctuary city status safe.

The Trump administration argues such actions put law enforcement officers at risk and protects repeat offenders who could have been deported after their first arrest.

But this latest attempt by the Justice Department to pressure so-called sanctuary cities to cooperate in immigration enforcement efforts seems to be a largely empty or at least an exaggerated threat, and probably illegal, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

In general، "sanctuary cities" offer safe harbor to undocumented immigrants and often advance the enforcement of federal immigration laws without municipal funds or resources.

"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".




"(The executive branch) may not unilaterally concoct and import into the Byrne JAG program sweeping new policy conditions that were never approved (and indeed were considered and rejected) by Congress and that would federalize local jails and police stations, mandate warrantless detentions in order to investigate for federal civil infractions, sow fear in local immigrant communities, and ultimately make the people of Chicago less safe", attorneys for the city wrote in Monday's filing. On June 1, a task force was formed by the Chicago police, IL state police and the ATF to combat the gun violence in the city.

Emanuel said the city's legal strategy would rely on a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that found that the federal government could not withold funds in an attempt to force states to expand Medicaid. Chicago had 50 more homicides than NY and Los Angeles combined through mid-June, even though it is far less populous than both. Over the years, the city has purchased SWAT equipment, police vehicles, radios and Tasers with the money.

"We need people to work with our officers and trust our officers", Emanuel said.

The lawsuit adds to an already complex relationship between Chicago and Mr. Trump's Justice Department.

"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. Opponents argue the federal government is essentially trying to deputize local law enforcement and that everyday policing is made more hard when people are afraid to talk to the officers for fear their immigration status will be uncovered. But one supporter of the lawsuit, Gilbert Villegas, an alderman who is chairman of the City Council's Latino Caucus, said there was "potential for that issue to creep into other grants" if it went unchallenged.

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