Chicago sues Trump admin for withholding police funding over sanctuary city policies

Chicago sues Trump admin for withholding police funding over sanctuary city policies
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) filed a second lawsuit against the Trump administration Friday for withholding federal grant money for police departments due to the city’s sanctuary policies. 

The city filed a lawsuit over similar conditions last year, but Chicago officials argue that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsCongress is going to make marijuana moves Trump throws support behind criminal justice bill Bill to protect Mueller blocked in Senate MORE and President TrumpDonald John TrumpMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations: 'I have never struck a woman' Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa MORE's Justice Department (DOJ) imposed new restrictions, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Under its so-called sanctuary city policy, Chicago does not enforce federal immigration laws.

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The new DOJ rules reportedly require local police receiving federal grant money to inform immigration officials about people in their custody with “questionable legal status” and to be granted access to prisoners for questioning.

According to the Tribune, Chicago has a written ordinance that prevents federal immigration officials’ from having access to people in police custody, except for those wanted on a criminal warrant or who have serious criminal convictions.

The city says DOJ withheld $5 million in grant money from 2017 — $3 million of which was meant to cover the salaries for police officers — because of Chicago's refusal to cooperate. 

Chicago has also not received a grant award letter for federal funding in 2018. 

The paper noted that the sum is small compared to the Chicago Police Department’s $1.5 billion budget.

The DOJ did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment on Friday.

The city filed a lawsuit in 2017 over similar conditions. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber this summer granted a permanent injunction against the conditions the DOJ wanted to implement. 

“We have already won this battle in court, and yet the Attorney General continues to disregard numerous federal court rulings that have repeatedly said he does not have the authority to add these requirements to a grant program created by Congress,” Ed Siskel, the city’s attorney, said in a statement.

“He cannot unilaterally impose new certifications and offer vague references to federal laws as a justification for unlawful actions,” Siskel continued.

A federal district court judge ruled in response to a series of lawsuits from California cities that Sessions’s restrictions were unconstitutional.

Emanuel, who is leaving office next year, has quarreled with Trump over violence in Chicago, saying last year that the city would brand itself as a place where the president is not welcome. 

Trump said Monday that he directed Sessions to provide federal assistance to limit gun violence and suggested the city implement the controversial practice of "stop and frisk."

"We want to straighten it out and straighten it out fast. There's no reason for what’s going on there," Trump told law enforcement officials at a convention for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

"It works, and it was meant for problems like Chicago," Trump said. 

The policy, which allows police to stop, question and frisk a person on the ground of reasonable suspicion, was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2013.