Chicago mayor hails judge’s ruling blocking Trump sanctuary cities rules

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday touted as a victory a federal judge's decision temporarily blocking the Justice Department from withholding federal grant funds to so-called sanctuary cities.

"Progress is never easy, but it is always worth fighting for. In Chicago we will always fight for our values and the rights of our residents,” Emanuel, a Democrat, said in a statement. 

“Today’s ruling means essential resources for public safety in Chicago and across the country cannot come with unlawful strings attached from the Trump Justice Department," he added. "This is not just a victory for the City of Chicago, but a win for cities, counties and states across America.”

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U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber issued a preliminary injunction on Friday, temporarily barring the Trump administration from withholding the funds while the case makes its way through the court system.

In a 41-page opinion, Leinenweber said that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsJustice Dept. considering replacing outgoing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr deputy: report Tuberville campaign bus catches fire in Alabama Doug Jones cuts pro-mask campaign ad: 'Our health depends on each other' MORE likely exceeded his authority when he put in place restrictions on law enforcement grants that would withhold funding from sanctuary cities – jurisdictions that are typically resistant to cooperation with federal immigration enforcement efforts. 

In April, another federal judge in California blocked the Trump administration's effort to block sanctuary cities from receiving federal funds. 

Trump and his attorney general have vowed to crackdown on localities that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts, arguing that such jurisdictions are susceptible to high crime rates and turn a blind eye to immigrants who are in the country illegally.