Emanuel confirms city will file suit against DOJ

Report: California AG Considering Suit Against Trump Administration Over 'Sanctuary Cities' Threat

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson joined Siskel and mayor Emanuel at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. According to The Huffington Post, Emanuel emphasized that Chicago "will not relinquish our status as a welcoming city".

"We are bringing this legal challenge because the rhetoric, the threats from this administration embodied in these new conditions imposed on unrelated public safety grants funds are breeding a culture and climate of fear", Emanuel's senior legal adviser, Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel, said on Monday. "The City of Chicago will continue to stand up to President Trump and his Justice Department to ensure that their misguided policies do not threaten the safety of our residents".

The mayor said the city won't be "blackmailed" into changing its values as a welcoming city.

The head of the DOJ, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, last week said the policy would improve safety for immigration officers who now have to track down suspects who already had been detained and released by local police.

The DOJ was quick to slam the lawsuit, claiming that the city should focus more on reducing murder than protecting illegal immigrants. "The city of Chicago can not under the law and the under the Constitution be forced to make a choice between either sacrificing critical grant funds for public safety or agreeing to conditions that directly violate the Constitution and our Welcoming City Ordinance", said Edward Siskel, City of Chicago Corporation Counsel.


This year, the Department of Justice announced that cities will be required to give federal agencies 48 hours' notice before releasing anyone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally, even if they have not been charged with a crime, and that immigration agents would have access to police stations and law enforcement facilities, "effectively federalizing all of the city's detention facilities", the lawsuit states.

Some municipalities that are often known as sanctuary cities decline to cooperate with federal requests to detain and hold non-citizens under arrest on charges unrelated to their immigration status, until immigration enforcement officers can take custody and possibly deport them.

A new set of conditions was added to the grant money application requiring local police departments to assist in federal immigration actions. But Emanuel said the equipment it buys is "needed" and called the effort to pull those grants "the camel's nose under the tent". He also wants immigration agents to have access to local jails.

The policies also include a requirement that local law enforcement agencies give federal authorities 48 hours notice before releasing anyone wanted for immigration violations.

In 2016, Chicago got $2.3 million through the grant, which was expanded by the Obama Administration to allow cities to purchase body cameras after a series of fatal encounters between police officers and unarmed civilians.

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