Federal judge prevents Sessions from denying federal money to sanctuary cities

Posted September 17, 2017

The Latest on a federal judge's ruling that the USA attorney general may not block public safety grants for cities over so-called sanctuary cities status.

U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber ruled that the Justice Department cannot not impose the requirements.

In July, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Justice Department would no longer award $385 million in grants to cities and states that refuse to help federal agents detain undocumented immigrants at local jails.

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

"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 in a statement at the time.

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

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.

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"The court finds that the city has established that it would suffer irreparable harm if a preliminary injunction is not entered", Leinenweber added, according to Bloomberg.

At stake was more than $2 million that Chicago and its neighboring jurisdictions receive from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants.

A federal judge rules against the Trump Administration in a case that would have given immigration officers more power. At least seven cities and counties, as well as the State of California, have refused to follow the new federal rules.

The Justice Department grants at issue typically are used to help police improve crime-fighting techniques, buy new equipment and assist victims of crime. The Trump administration, on the other hand, has accused sanctuary cities of putting politics over public safety.

The opinion comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the city of Chicago against the DOJ, which is trying to make grants contingent on cities notifying federal officials when undocumented immigrants are soon-to-be-released from local jails and giving the feds access to those jails. Now Judge Leinenweber says Sessions was overstepping the bounds of the law.

Trump wrote on Twitter that a new immigration bill cannot include "chain migration", a term that advocates of limiting immigrants use to describe how new US citizens can sponsor family members in obtaining legal status.

The decision is notably a preliminary injunction, meaning the Trump administration is temporarily - but not permanently - blocked from action while the case progresses through the courts.