Judge blocks Justice Department move against sanctuary cities

Judge blocks Justice Department move against sanctuary cities

That threat didn't go over well - Chicago received $2.3 million in law enforcement grants in 2016, with a similar amount initially expected in 2017, and city officials expressed concern that the funding shortage would severely impact public safety. The government threatened cut off some of their federal funding but Friday a judge sided with the cities and not the government.

The Trump administration lost another round in its effort to punish cities that don't cooperate with its crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

"So-called sanctuary policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes", Sessions said.

Let's be clear what the city of Chicago and other sanctuary cities are fighting so hard for. Several weeks later, the city of Chicago sued Sessions, arguing that the new policy violated both the Constitution and federal law. A number of cities and police chiefs around the country argue that cooperating with such requests could jeopardize the trust police need to have with local communities, and in some cases could place departments in legal gray areas.

Sessions slammed Chicago specifically for a "culture of lawlessness" in a speech after the suit was filed last month, though other cities including NY have also challenged him over his immigrant crackdown. If left and right weren't talking past each other to score political points, they might even agree on a policy that protects the public and states' rights.

But that approach isn't seeing much sympathy in court.


The judge's opinion temporarily blocks the DOJ program while the lawsuit plays out in court and claims Sessions doesn't have the authority to implement the policy. Total funding for such grants this year was $383.5 million, according to the Justice Department.

"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.

The city had asked the judge for a "nationwide" temporary injunction this week, asking the judge not to allow the Justice Department to impose the requirements until the city's lawsuit against the department plays out in court.

Chicago, the nation's third-largest city, stood to lose its Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant - which past year was $2.3 million - for failing to comply with the Justice Department's conditions.

In his injunction, Leinenweber found the city likely to prevail on the merits of its argument once the case is considered in its entirety.

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