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Chicago preps lawsuit against Trump administration over sanctuary cities threat

Chicago’s mayor said the Windy City will sue the Trump administration next week over its policy of withholding funds from so-called sanctuary cities shielding illegal immigrants from federal authorities.

“We’re not going to actually auction off our values as a city, so Monday morning the city of Chicago is going to court, we’re going to take the Justice Department to court based on this,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said during a interview slated to air Sunday on WLS radio 890, set to air Sunday, The Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

“We find it unlawful and unconstitutional to be, as a city, coerced on a policy,” added Mr. Emanuel, a second-term Democrat who served in the administrations of Presidents Clinton and Obama before being elected mayor in 2011.

Specifically Mr. Emanuel said the city will sue in federal court to stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions from restricting the use of Byrne Justice Assistance Grants which are federal funds awarded annually to state, local and tribal jurisdictions to assist with law enforcement personnel, training and equipment.

Chicago has planned to use $ 3.2 million in Byrne grants this year to buy vehicles for the city’s police department, but the Justice Department said last month that the city and more than 200 others risk losing funds for protecting illegal immigrants.

“From now on, the Department will only provide Byrne JAG grants to cities and states that comply with federal law, allow federal immigration access to detention facilities, and provide 48 hours notice before they release an illegal alien wanted by federal authorities,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last month.

Four cities — Albuquerque, N.M.; Baltimore, Md.; San Bernardino, Calif.; and Stockton, Calif. — received warnings Thursday indicating they’ll be ineligible for Byrne grants unless they begin cooperating with federal immigration officials, Mr. Sessions said Thursday.

“”We are not going to be put in a position of choosing who we are as a welcoming city and strengthening our police department,” Mr. Emanuel said in the radio interview.

Mr. Emanuel said in December that Chicago would allocate $ 1 million leftover from a tax rebate program to defend immigrants from any deportation efforts undertaken by the Trump administration.

“Chicago has a proud history of diversity and inclusion, and my administration will do everything in our power to ensure that immigrants remain safe, secure and supported,” he said at the time.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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