Gov. Brown: California May Sue Trump Administration Over 'Sanctuary Cities' Funding Cut

California preparing to sue Trump administration

The Justice Department responded to the lawsuit by echoing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying that sanctuary cities make Americans less safe, and citing Chicago's murder rate (a popular target of Trump, and one that many claim is badly skewed, ) stating that more residents of Chicago were murdered a year ago than NY and Los Angeles combined.

Emanuel said the lawsuit would prevent the Trump administration from setting a precedent that could be used to target other funding.

In announcing on Sunday the city's intention to file a lawsuit against the Justice Department, Mayor Emanuel called the Attorney General's threat to withhold grant money from sanctuary cities illegal and unconstitutional.

"Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate", Emanuel said. Administration officials say the policies undermine efforts to root out and deport violent criminals who are in the country illegally, while the cities say the close cooperation federal authorities demand undermines public trust and forces them to violate the rights of their residents. "It may not concoct ... sweeping new policy conditions that were never approved by Congress and that would federalize local jails and police stations".

A new set of conditions was added to the grant money application requiring local police departments to assist in federal immigration actions.

"By forcing us, or the police department, to choose between the values of the city and the philosophy of the police department".

Siskel said the city will follow the initial complaint with a motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the government's imposition of the new conditions.

The Byrne Justice Assistance Grant is funding created to help various law enforcement agencies across the country.

The Department of Justice announced in late July new immigration compliance requirements for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) programs which include sharing more information among federal, state, and local law enforcement. Over the years the city has purchased SWAT equipment, police vehicles, radios and Tasers with the money. But one supporter of the lawsuit, Gilbert Villegas, an alderman who is chairman of the City Council's Latino Caucus, said there was "potential for that issue to creep into other grants" if it went unchallenged.

"In 2016, more Chicagoans were murdered than in New York City and Los Angeles combined", Devin O'Malley, a DOJ spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News.

It remains one of the most overwhelmingly violent cities in America.

Trump has targeted sanctuary cities as part of his promised crackdown on illegal immigration, and the Department of Justice implemented the new funding requirement last month. Cook County, which also prohibits the Sheriff's Department from cooperating with immigration officers, is considering its "legal options going forward", Preckwinkle said.

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