This past Monday, attorneys for Chicago asked a federal judge for a nationwide halt to Trump administration requirements that cities enforce tough immigration laws in turn to receive partial federal grants.
Chicago is the nation’s third largest city in the fight over sanctuary cities or “a city that limits its cooperation with the national government effort to enforce immigration law.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has continued to proclaim the city refuses to allow immigration police access to city jails without a warrant.
Rahm was so serious about this, that just last month – Chicago sued the Trump administration over the new rules. During a court hearing this past Monday, attorneys argued over whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions has the authority to actually bar Chicago from receiving federal grants to purchase police equipment if it refuses to share information about people in custody who may be in the country illegally…
Chicago is spear heading its right to be a Sanctuary city, with more than 30 jurisdictions filed supporting Chicago’s suit and up to $35 million grants at stake – inspiring and guiding other cities and counties across the country.
Seattle, San Francisco and the state of California are just some of the cities and states refusing to cooperate with the controversial federal rules. Courts continue to debate whether Sessions can actually withhold grant money..
“Congress mandated that the Attorney General SHALL allocate (the funds); It does not give him the authority not to do this,” attorney Ronald Safer for Chicago said. Safer also proclaimed that tying grant money to an agreement to comply would severely damage the immigrant community and a police department that relies on the public to solve crimes.
He also told the judge that if he does rule in favor of the Trump administration, it would set a dangerous precedent that could ultimately give the power to tie funds to the city’s willingness to send police officers to the Mexican border Trump so desperately wants to build.
The acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil division, Chad Readler, states Sessions is within his rights to put special conditions on grant money, adding that cities already had to meet more than 50 special conditions which include civil rights laws to receive grants in 2016..
But Readler said Chicago does have the option to refuse to comply with the new immigration regulations and fund the initiatives itself. One small step for Chicago, and one giant leap for mankind – illegal or no.