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Chicago Mayor to Sue Trump Administration over Sanctuary Cities

Chicago Mayor to Sue Trump Administration over Sanctuary Cities

At a rare Sunday afternoon press conference, Mayor Rahm Emanuel cast the effort by Trump administration efforts as an attempt to force Chicago to choose between its renewed commitment to community policing and its status as a self-declared "sanctuary city", where officers are prohibited from cooperating with federal immigration agents in most cases.

"It is a false choice, and a wrong choice", Mr. Emanuel said.

The Justice Department earlier this year sent letters to officials in so-called sanctuary cities, including Chicago, with a message: Provide immigration information on people arrested or lose federal funding.

"These new conditions - which would give federal officials the power to enter city facilities and interrogate arrestees at will and would force the City to detain individuals longer than justified by probable cause, exclusively to permit federal officials to investigate their immigration status - are unauthorized and unconstitutional", the complaint read.

"Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate", Chicago Mayor Ram Emanuel told the Chicago Tribune. Emanuel made it emphatically clear that he will not allow Sessions or other officials of the Trump Administration to violate citizens' "fundamental rights". In cities like Chicago, the local police have failed to comply with the federal government.

The city will head to federal court Monday to argue that the Attorney General's actions imposing the new conditions are unlawful.

"We want residents to see the police department as partners to make their city safe", he said. Chicago had 50 more homicides than NY and Los Angeles combined through mid-June, even though it is far less populous than both. Past year the city received $2.3 million in federal funding to fight its violent gun and homicide epidemic. They were used for buying police vehicles, radios and SWAT equipment.

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Asked about the city's new lawsuit, a Justice Department spokesman noted Chicago's murder rate.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a Sunday statement: "It's especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago's law enforcement at greater risk". He said the CPD is "here for you regardless of who you are or where you're from". Opponents argue the federal government is essentially trying to deputize local law enforcement and that everyday policing is made more hard when people are afraid to talk to the officers for fear their immigration status will be uncovered.

Jamie Gorelick - a partner at Wilmer Hale who also represents Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner on non-Russia related legal issues, is one of the many attorneys who is listed as pro bono counsel on the suit.

"We need people to work with our officers and trust our officers", Emanuel said.

"Section 1373 does not specifically address restrictions by state or local entities on cooperation with ICE regarding detainers".

The Justice Department is requiring agreement to the new conditions by September 5, putting the city in an "untenable position", according to the suit.


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