City Of Chicago To Sue Justice Department Over Threats To Withhold Funds To Sanctuary Cities

CHICAGO (CBSNewYork/CBS Chicago) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Sunday that his city is getting ready to sue the Trump administration over threats to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities.”

Chicago is the first city to file such a federal lawsuit, and Mayor Emanuel believes others will follow.

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The suit claims millions of dollars in federal grants should not be withheld from so-called sanctuary cities, CBS Chicago reported.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said sanctuary cities – of which New York is also one – will lose millions of dollars in public safety grants if they fail to cooperate with immigration authorities.

The federal Byrne grants support local law enforcement, but the 2017 application has some new rules. For one, Sessions will be requiring police stations to give 24-7 access to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate,” Emanuel said Sunday. “Chicago will not let our residents have their fundamental rights isolated and violated.”

Chicago Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel said cities would have to give the feds 48 hours’ advance notice of an arrestee’s release, “which, in many cases, would require detaining individual residents longer than necessary for the sole purpose of providing that 48-hour advance notice — in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.”

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson joined Siskel and Emanuel at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. He said the CPD is “here for you regardless of who you are or where you’re from.”

Mayor Emanuel, with support from other city leaders, also made it clear Chicago will continue to protect illegal immigrants.

President Donald Trump had previously issued an executive order to cut federal funding to cities that don’t cooperate with U.S. immigration authorities. But the order was blocked in April.

The lawsuit is expected to be filed in U.S. District Court first thing Monday morning. The Department of Justice has not commented.

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