Chicago will sue Trump administration for withholding funds from sanctuary cities

California preparing to sue Trump administration

Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing back against the federal government. In Chicago, the city's complaint states, these grants have helped the city purchase 1,000 vehicles for police officers since 2005 and allowed local nonprofits to provide "emergency shelter, food, and clothing; youth mentoring and structured activities in safe places; job training and placement; conflict resolution; and activities to strengthen community cohesion and resilience" in neighborhoods with high levels of violence.

"Chicago will not be blackmailed into changing our values, and we are and will remain a welcoming city", Emanuel said in a press release.

"The federal government should be working with cities to provide necessary resources to improve public safety، not concocting new schemes to reduce our crime-fighting resources،" he added.

In July, Sessions announced that the Department of Justice would withhold Byrne Justice Assistance Grants to cities whose law enforcement agencies refuse to work with ICE to prevent illegal immigration. The amount of funding that Chicago would receive from the grant accounts for less than one percent of the city's budget.

"In 2016, more Chicagoans were murdered than in New York City and Los Angeles combined", Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement. Opponents argue the federal government is essentially trying to deputize local law enforcement and that everyday policing is made more hard when people are afraid to talk to the officers for fear their immigration status will be uncovered.

"We are bringing this legal challenge because the rhetoric, the threats from this administration embodied in these new conditions imposed on unrelated public safety grants funds are breeding a culture and climate of fear", Emanuel's senior legal adviser, Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel, said on Monday.

The Constitution's Fourth Amendment protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures".

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Chicago officials say there are new qualifications for a federal public safety grant requiring cities to share information with federal immigration authorities, which they allege are unconstitutional. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who oversees what is considered a "sanctuary county" that also could lose funding, said in a statement that she supports the mayor's effort.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson also expressed concern about the application guidelines. "So the uncle, the grandma, the tio, might be undocumented and imagine what happens when the police show up and ask 'What's your immigration status, ' they have to keep tabs, it's against human rights and people are just not going to call 911", said Ald.

"Removing those resources, regardless of the reason, makes CPD's mission to protect all residents in Chicago that much more hard".

In Chicago, $3.6 billion in federal funds are at stake, possibly jeopardizing money to pay for everything from feeding low-income pregnant women to repairing roads and bridges, according to a recent analysis by the Better Government Association, a nonpartisan state watchdog group.

Chicago has been a sanctuary city since the 1980s, beefing up its policies in the past decade, particularly since Trump took office.

It remains one of the most overwhelmingly violent cities in America.

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