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Chicago to file lawsuit over sanctuary cities threat

Chicago to file lawsuit over sanctuary cities threat

The city of Chicago is bringing some serious legal firepower to its lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his new policy of withholding Justice Department funding to places that don't cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Under Trump and Sessions, the federal government has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration and has repeatedly sought to punish sanctuary cities, which generally offer safe harbor to illegal immigrants and often do not use municipal resources to enforce federal immigration laws.

Those conditions are unlawful and unconstitutional, Siskel said.

That could force the Police Department to hold men and women under investigation longer than the constitutionally mandated 48 hours, Siskel said. But Emanuel said the equipment it buys is "needed" and called the effort to pull those grants "the camel's nose under the tent". Superintendent Eddie Johnson explains. And Chicago is not alone in planning a lawsuit against the Trump administration. In December 2016, Obama appointed him to the US Commission on Civil Rights. "We will not break that sacred trust".

The Justice Department did not immediately comment on Sunday.

But Mr. Emanuel and Chicago police leaders argue the opposite. "We don't want to alienate people".

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

"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. Chicago had 50 more homicides than NY and Los Angeles combined through mid-June, even though it is far less populous than both. The city got about the same amount from the grant in 2015, city records show.

Sessions has repeatedly criticized Chicago for declaring itself a "sanctuary city", saying those policies tie the hands of law enforcement by "undermining federal laws that would remove criminal, illegal aliens from the streets and remove them from this country".

But statistics don't support the claim that immigrants commit more crimes than people born in the US.

Attorney General Sessions sent letters to four other cities last week warning them that they also wouldn't be eligible for funding: Baltimore, Albuquerque, N.M, and San Bernardino and Stockton in California. 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.

It was also reinvigorated in a 2012 ruling that states could not be required to expand Medicaid programs under threat of a loss of federal funds - the same coercive method employed in Trump's order - except where the threat was one mandated by Congress and signed into law, not a mere presidential order.


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