Judge Blocks Sanctuary City Funding Ban

Another Federal Judge Smacks Down Another Trump Administration Policy – This Time on Sanctuary Cities

President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration were dealt yet another blow when a federal judge in Chicago ruled that public safety grants can not be withheld from cities that refuse to comply unreservedly with federal law enforcement on immigration.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber issued the preliminary injunction in a suit by the city of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had threatened to withhold public safety grant money to Chicago and other so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to impose new tough immigration policies.

At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the state of California, have refused to cooperate with new federal rules regarding sanctuary cities. Several weeks later, the city of Chicago sued Sessions, arguing that the new policy violated both the Constitution and federal law.

Trump, however, on 14 September expressed sympathy for those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which offered young illegal immigrants an eventual path to permanent residency and citizenship. As a presidential candidate, Trump pledged to ramp up deportations and build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.


City officials have said such a ruling would prevent the Justice Department from withholding what are called Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants to the cities based on their refusal to take the steps Sessions ordered.

A federal judge rules against the Trump Administration in a case that would have given immigration officers more power.

Let's be clear what the city of Chicago and other sanctuary cities are fighting so hard for. Leinenweber did side with the Trump administration on preserving an existing requirement for the grants - certifying compliance with a federal law that mandates local jurisdictions communicate immigration status information to the federal government - which was put in place originally by the Obama administration. "This is astounding given the unprecedented violent crime surge in Chicago, with the number of murders in 2016 surpassing both NY and Los Angeles combined". Nor would he say if he thought that the administration would find another way to punish the city, such as pulling the 20 agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who were recently assigned to the city as part of a new initiative against gun violence.

Trump wrote on Twitter that a new immigration bill cannot include "chain migration", a term that advocates of limiting immigrants use to describe how new US citizens can sponsor family members in obtaining legal status.

Those are some of the most controversial requests by the federal government regarding local law enforcement. The ruling is likely temporary as the law is expected to change, with Congress giving that authority to the DoJ. A judge agreed that the city had a good case and issued the injunction covering the entire country.

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