Federal judge prevents Sessions from denying federal money to sanctuary cities

Federal judge blocks Trump from denying funds to sanctuary cities

Leinenweber considered new restrictions placed on the grants in July. Sessions responded that the Trump administration would not "give away grant money to city governments that proudly violate the rule of law and protect criminal aliens at the expense of public safety".

"To a degree perhaps unsurpassed by any other jurisdiction, the political leadership of Chicago has chosen deliberately and intentionally to adopt a policy that obstructs this country's lawful immigration system", Sessions added, according to Bloomberg.

Earlier this month, Sessions announced that the administration would end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects young immigrants who were brought to the USA illegally as children or came with families who overstayed their visas.

Trump announced last week that he would phase out Dreamers' deportation protections, which were provided under the 5-year-old Barack Obama administration's deferred-action program.

The federal government provides this money through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which aims to reduce gun violence, equip officers with body cameras, improve mental health services, and reduce unnecessary incarceration.

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

The ruling has the power to impact at least seven cities and counties, as well as the state of California, that have defied the Justice Departments' new rules. The Trump administration, on the other hand, has accused sanctuary cities of putting politics over public safety.

Multiple major cities have refused to cooperate with immigration agents by, say, notifying ICE when an undocumented immigrant is released from jail.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed the decision at a City Hall news conference as "an affirmation of the rule of law".

The Justice Department swiftly fired back over the ruling, signaling that federal officials would continue to fight cities over their immigration policies. "This is astounding given the unprecedented crime surge in Chicago, with the number of murders in 2016 surpassing both NY and Los Angeles combined". Cautioning that the Justice Department's approach could cause "irreparable harm", he also pointed to concerns over mistrust between the public and law enforcement.

Judge Leinenweber agreed, writing, "The harm to the city's relationship with the immigrant community if it should accede to the conditions is irreparable".

"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 injunction applies to cities nationwide.

Lawyers for the city also claimed that withholding funding creates a risky precedent in which the federal government could begin withholding money from jurisdictions that disagree with the president's priorities.

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