Judge Blocks DOJ Sanctuary Cities Rules on Grants

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A federal judge in Chicago blocked the Trump administration’s rules requiring so-called sanctuary cities to cooperate with immigration agents in order to get a public safety grant, the Chicago Tribune reports. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber held that Chicago has shown a “likelihood of success” in its arguments that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions exceeded his authority in imposing new standards governing Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants across the U.S. He also said Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has shown the city could suffer “irreparable harm” in its relationship with the immigrant community if it were to comply with the U.S. Department of Justice’s new standards. “Once such trust is lost, it cannot be repaired through an award of money damages, making it the type of harm that is especially hard to rectify” were he to wait until the lawsuit is settled, Leinenweber wrote.

The preliminary injunction granted by Leinenweber applies nationwide. Emanuel cast the ruling as a national victory against the immigration policies of President Trump. The U.S. Department of Justice and Attorney General Jeff Sessions want to require sanctuary cities like Chicago to give notice when immigrants in the U.S. illegally are about to be released from custody and allow immigration agents access to local jails. The ruling comes a little more than a month after the Emanuel administration filed suit against the Justice Department over its new requirements for sanctuary cities. The new regulations, announced by Sessions in July, would require local authorities to give 48 hours’ notice “where practicable” before releasing from custody people who federal immigration agents suspect of being in the U.S. illegally.

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