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Chicago Sues AG Jeff Sessions Over Sanctuary Cities Funding Threat

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on August 07, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

True to his campaign promises, President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January threatening to without federal grants from "sanctuary jurisdictions." Such cities and states, which limit cooperation with the federal government in immigration matters, would be ineligible for certain federal funds unless they agreed to abide by immigration orders and enforcement. But by April a federal judge in California had enjoined the feds from enforcing the order, and upheld that injunction last month, even after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo intended to clarify the order.

Now, the City of Chicago is suing Sessions over the sanctuary cities order, calling it "unauthorized and unconstitutional," and claiming that enforcing the order would "fly in the face of longstanding City policy that promotes cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities, ensures access to essential city services for all residents, and makes all Chicagoans safer." You can see the full lawsuit below.

Untenable Enforcement

Chicago's "Welcoming City Ordinance," prohibits Chicago law enforcement officials from inquiring about a person's immigration status or turning undocumented immigrants over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This puts the city at odds with the Department of Justice and Trump's order, which could mean losing federal funds for law enforcement equipment, including police cars, radios, and tasers.

According to the city's lawsuit:

The [Justice] Department puts Chicago in an untenable position, with the clock winding down: agree, by September 5, 2017, to accept the Department's new unconstitutional grant conditions, which would wipe away policies that have built trust and cooperation between law enforcement and immigrant communities over the decades; or stand on its rights and forfeit crucial funds that it and the eleven other jurisdictions on whose behalf it submits Byrne JAG applications have counted on for more than a decade to provide critical (and, at times, lifesaving) equipment to Chicago Police officers and critical services to Chicago residents.

Here's is Chicago's lawsuit, in full:

Chicago v Sessions - Complaint by FindLaw on Scribd

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