Judge Rules Feds Can't Block Grant Money to Sanctuary Cities

Judge Rules Feds Can't Block Grant Money to Sanctuary Cities

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber granted a request by the Windy City to put a "nationwide" injunction on Sessions' decision, meaning he can not deny the funds until after the legal process is finished.

"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", O'Malley said. Leinenweber wrote that Chicago has shown a "likelihood of success" in its arguments that Sessions overstepped his authority with 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.

Chicago has applied for $2.2 million in the federal grant money — $1.5 million for the city and the rest for Cook County and 10 other suburbs.

The ruling is another blow to Sessions, a longtime champion of tougher immigration laws.

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

Whether or not the ruling means that Judge Leinenweber will ultimately decide in favor of the city is unclear, but he did demonstrate that the city had a good case.

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.

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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.

With the White House seeking to curb immigration across the nation, cities have found themselves on the front lines of a dispute over public safety.

Sessions has previously blasted Chicago and other sanctuary cities, arguing that prohibiting law enforcement from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement made cities less safe.

Dozens of cities have taken a stance on deportation enforcement similar to Chicago's including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New Orleans. Total funding for such grants this year was $383.5 million, according to the Justice Department.

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".

"As Washington squabbles over rolling back sensible immigration policy, we are taking action to help protect all New Yorkers from unwarranted targeting by government", Cuomo said in a statement accompanying his order.

The preliminary injunction applies to more than 400 cities nationwide.

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