Federal Judge Rules Jeff Sessions Can't Withhold Money From Sanctuary Cities

Posted September 17, 2017

A Chicago federal judge ruled on Friday the US Justice Department can't withhold millions of dollars in grants supporting public safety from cities that refuse to share with federal officials the immigration status of suspects in custody.

"By protecting criminals from immigration enforcement, cities and states with "so-called" sanctuary policies make their communities less safe and undermine the rule of law", department spokesperson Devin O'Malley said in a statement. Leinenweber wrote that Chicago has shown a "likelihood of success" in its arguments that Sessions overstepped his authority with the requirements. First, Congress blocked him from using federal funds to crack down on legal weed, then everybody found out about Donald Trump addressing him in the Oval as an "idiot", and now a federal judge has blocked one of dude's few remaining reasons for sticking around a White House that hates him - screwing over sanctuary cities. 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.

It's unclear whether the ruling means the Leinenweber will ultimately decide in favor of the city.

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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.

"Some states and cities have adopted policies created to frustrate the enforcement of our immigration laws", Sessions said.

In a news conference, Emanuel praised the ruling as an "affirmation of the rule of law".

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

Let's be clear what the city of Chicago and other sanctuary cities are fighting so hard for. Here, we follow binding Supreme Court precedent and the persuasive authority of the Second Circuit, neither of which elevates federalism to the degree urged by the City here. Among them are requirements that cities notify immigration agents when someone in the country illegally is about to be released from local jails and to allow agents access to the jails. "Once such trust is lost, it can not be repaired through an award of money damages". Throughout his presidential campaign, he vowed to pull federal funding from such cities unless they began cooperating and collaborating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to facilitate deportations.

They have also assumed executive authority by controlling the budget and deciding which cities can receive federal funds.

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The preliminary injunction applies to more than 400 cities nationwide.