Chicago scores legal victory in sanctuary city battle with Sessions

Chicago scores legal victory in sanctuary city battle with Sessions

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber has filed a national injunction barring Jeff Session's threat to block Sanctuary Cities from receiving federal grant money unless they get on board with the Trump administration's immigration agenda.

The lawsuit contended that Sessions exceeded his authority by imposing new conditions beyond those Congress prescribed when it established the grant programme. Several weeks later, the city of Chicago sued Sessions, arguing that the new policy violated both the Constitution and federal law. Earlier this month, Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a lifeline for around 800,000 young undocumented people living in the United States. Trump later announced he was working on an agreement to protect them.

Leinenweber, in his 41-page ruling, said that the city could suffer "irreparable harm".

At stake for Chicago is roughly $2.3 million from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.

"The ruling further frustrates an administration mired in litigation over immigration policy since Trump took office in January".

Let's be clear what the city of Chicago and other sanctuary cities are fighting so hard for.

The rules at issue would have required police to provide the Department of Homeland Security with unlimited access to police stations to interrogate civilians who are arrested, and give at least a 48-hour notice before the release of someone suspected of immigration violations.

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Local officials around the country, such as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have insisted that by cooperating with federal immigration agents they would jeopardize the hard-won trust of immigrant communities.

Sessions described Chicago's lawsuit in August as "astounding". "The city's leaders can not follow some laws and ignore others and reasonably expect this horrific situation to improve".

Leinenweber's ruling was not welcomed at the Justice Department.

A Justice Department spokesman, Devin O'Malley, declined comment when asked whether the administration would appeal the court order.

Recently, federal judges have made a decision to bypass the legislature and make immigration law on their own.

"Once such trust is lost, it can not be repaired through an award of money damages, making it the type of harm that is especially hard to rectify", Leinenweber wrote.

Chicago officials said 37 municipal and county governments also filed briefs in support of the suit. A judge agreed that the city had a good case and issued the injunction covering the entire country.

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