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Chicago filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration Monday over its plan to hold back law enforcement grant funds from so-called sanctuary cities.
The lawsuit alleges that the Trump administration's policy forces cities to choose between receiving the money or fulfilling their constitutional obligations, Reuters reports.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) announced the city's intent to sue in an interview on WLS radio 890 that aired Sunday.
"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," Emanuel said.
The lawsuit also alleges that the administration's sanctuary city policy puts cooperation between law enforcement and local immigrant communities at risk, an argument long held by supporters of sanctuary policies.
"These new conditions also fly in the face of longstanding City policy that promotes cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities," the lawsuit reads.
Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE has led the administration's charge against sanctuary cities — those that refuse to fully comply with federal immigration policy.
Immigration detainers — requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for local authorities to hold undocumented detainees longer than the constitutionally mandated period — have been at the center of that debate.
Last month, Sessions said the federal government would withhold Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) grants, which channel federal criminal justice funds to state and local governments, from sanctuary jurisdictions.
"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," said Sessions.
The administration argues that detainers make ICE agents and immigrant communities safer by ensuring that immigration arrests of dangerous criminals take place in controlled environments, such as city jails.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores criticized Emanuel's decision Sunday, pointing to Chicago's high murder rate.
"It's especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago's law enforcement at greater risk," she said in a statement.
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