Chicago Is Suing The Federal DOJ For Threatening To Defund Sanctuary Cities
By Emma G. Gallegos in News on Aug 7, 2017 8:46PM
As expected, Chicago has filed a suit against the Department of Justice for threatening to withhold funds from Chicago and other sanctuary cities.
Last month Attorney General Jeff Beauregard Sessions III announced that he would be withholding Byrne Justice Assistance Grants from cities whose police forces refuse to investigate the undocumented statuses of residents. This year Chicago received $3.2 million from such grants, a fraction of the $24.5 million it received from the Department of Justice. Sessions claimed cities that don't comply "make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws."
Sessions announced that in order to receive grant money cities would need to give the federal government a 48-hour notice window prior to releasing someone it has arrested. And they also demanded federal immigration officials be given unlimited access to local police stations and other law enforcement facilities.
Today Chicago filed a lawsuit claiming that the move violates the constitution and that, in fact, makes residents less safe, because immigrants may fear coming forward to cooperate with police. The suit says that the Department of Justice move violates the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, spending clause and the principle of separation of powers. It would also cause Chicago to violate Illinois law.
"The executive branch of the federal government may not arrogate to itself the powers that our Constitution reserves to Congress, on the one hand, or to state and local governments on the other," the suit says.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the move to withhold funding blackmail and said agreeing to cooperate with federal officials would essentially "federalize" local prisons.
"Community policing is a guiding philosophy of the Chicago Police Department, but it cannot succeed when a segment of the community is afraid to cooperate or communicate with the police," Rahm wrote in a statement on Facebook. "Forcing us to choose between our values and our Police Department’s philosophy of community policing is a false choice, and it is a choice that would ultimately undermine our public safety."
Chicago's violence and murder rate has become a favorite political talking point among conservatives and the Trump administration has continued to pummel the city. Trump the candidate swore he'd fix Chicago's problems in a week. A spokesman Devin O'Malley claimed that not enforcing federal immigration laws put citizens and law enforcement at risk.
"In 2016, more Chicagoans were murdered than in New York City and Los Angeles combined," Spokesman wrote in an email to the Washington Post. "So 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."
We've pointed out before there is no research or facts to back up this allegation and that, in fact, immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans. And San Francisco became the first city to file a similar lawsuit back in January, noting similar problems.
Here's Rahm discussing the suit in his appearance on CNN:
Mayor Emanuel on Chicago's suit against the DOJ's sanctuary city warning: "We will never be coerced on our values." https://t.co/rmPBDqwWXy— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 7, 2017
And here's the full lawsuit:
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