Federal Court Says Trump Administration Can't Deny Funds To Sanctuary Cities

Federal judge blocks Trump from denying funds to sanctuary cities

US District Judge Harry Leinenweber said in the ruling that Sessions had exceeded his authority in imposing new conditions on jurisdictions' eligibility for a major grant that funds police departments across the country, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Sessions announced in July that the Justice Department would no longer give a type of federal public safety grant to jurisdictions that withhold information about crime suspects from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. The ruling, he added, is "nationwide in scope" with "there being no reason to think that the legal issues present in this case are restricted to Chicago".

President Donald Trump's immigration agenda was dealt another blow by federal courts Friday, when a federal judge largely blocked the Justice Department's efforts to punish sanctuary cities for a second time this year. The ruling further frustrates an administration mired in litigation over immigration policy since Trump took office in January.

Trump, however, on 14 September expressed sympathy for those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which offered young illegal immigrants an eventual path to permanent residency and citizenship.

It's unclear whether the ruling means the Leinenweber will ultimately decide in favor of the city. The Chicago judge found Sessions to be exceeding his authority particularly when it comes to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the state of California, are refusing to cooperate with the new federal rules. The Trump administration, on the other hand, has accused sanctuary cities of putting politics over public safety.

The Justice Department funding would have been just a small fraction of Chicago's overall budget, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel said it was important for the city to maintain its "status as a welcoming city" to immigrants. "This is astounding given the unprecedented crime surge in Chicago, with the number of murders in 2016 surpassing both NY and Los Angeles combined".




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

The Justice Department grants at issue typically are used to help police improve crime-fighting techniques, buy new equipment and assist victims of crime. And it has made a similar argument if the city were to follow the new requirements.

Leinenweber agreed with Chicago's assertion that trust between police and the community could suffer as a result of the restrictions, saying that it is a type of harm "that is especially hard to rectify".

The preliminary injunction applies to more than 400 cities nationwide.

Those are some of the most controversial requests by the federal government regarding local law enforcement.

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