Chicago sues federal government for targeting sanctuary cities
Many of the Trump administration’s values directly contradict those of the country’s largest cities. While Trump is strongly against the immigration of undocumented citizens, cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and even Atlanta have taken on the approach of being “welcoming” to them. This separation has now led to legal action.
Chicago has become the first city to file a lawsuit against the federal government over what it feels is unfair punishment for being a “sanctuary city” where all citizens, including the undocumented, can feel safer.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel criticized the government for trying to “blackmail” the city into changing its values by withholding federal funding, according to USA Today. The next step will be for a judge to freeze the government’s policy until the civil case comes to a ruling.
“These new conditions — which would give federal officials the power to enter city facilities and interrogate arrestees at will and would force the city to detain individuals longer than justified by probable cause, solely to permit federal officials to investigate their immigration status — are unauthorized and unconstitutional,” the complaint read. “These new conditions also fly in the face of longstanding city policy that promotes cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities, ensures access to essential city services for all residents, and makes all Chicagoans safer.”
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Chicago has been a sanctuary city as far back as the 1980s and has pushed back in recent months given the Trump administration’s attempts to crack down on immigration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who heads the Department of Justice, has been one of the more vocal supporters of this new approach.
“This is astounding given the unprecedented violent crime surge in Chicago, with the number of murders in 2016 surpassing both New York and Los Angeles combined,” the attorney general said regarding the civil suit. “The city’s leaders cannot follow some laws and ignore others and reasonably expect this horrific situation to improve.”
The lawsuit hopes to remove the requirements to support immigration policies from the process of receiving the federal grants.