Judge blocks funding ban for sanctuary cities

Do Sanctuary Cities Actually Provide Sanctuary

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber on Friday blocked the Trump administration's plans to withhold funds from cities that "refuse to help enforce immigration laws" and "seek to protect" unauthorized immigrants from federal authority.

"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", Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement after the ruling was announced.

Leinenweber apparently agreed, saying in his ruling that Sessions had attempted an "unprecedented seizure of power" in imposing such conditions on law enforcement grants, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

On Friday, a federal judge based out of Chicago ruled that the Trump administration can't pull federal funds from sanctuary cities, the latest legal development in its ongoing efforts to punish such cities.

A federal judge has handed a defeat to Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he looks to punish so-called "sanctuary cities" such as NY.

The announcement came just days after a nationwide conversation about Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children.

President Donald Trump has made tougher immigration enforcement a centerpiece of his campaign and presidency, along with a pledge to build a wall on the US-Mexican border.

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At stake for Chicago is roughly $2.3 million from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.

Let's be clear what the city of Chicago and other sanctuary cities are fighting so hard for. The Justice Department demanded that cities give ICE agents access to jails and report when an undocumented immigrant was released.

But Chicago officials sued, arguing that the requirements were forcing the city to choose between losing a significant funding source or implementing policies that would damage authorities' relationships with immigrant communities. Leinenweber did side with the Trump administration on preserving an existing requirement for the grants - certifying compliance with a federal law that mandates local jurisdictions communicate immigration status information to the federal government - which was put in place originally by the Obama administration. "This is astounding given the unprecedented crime surge in Chicago, with the number of murders in 2016 surpassing both NY and Los Angeles combined". "Once such trust is lost, it can not be repaired through an award of money damages".

The preliminary injunction applies to more than 400 cities nationwide.

Chicago officials said 37 municipal and county governments also filed briefs in support of the suit.

The Justice Department did get one win, however.

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