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Federal judge again blocks Trump from punishing sanctuary cities

17 September 2017, 12:56 | Darnell Patrick

Federal judge again blocks Trump from punishing sanctuary cities

Judge Attorney General Can't Withhold Money From'Sanctuary Cities

The ruling grants the city of Chicago's request for a temporary nationwide injunction.

As part of that policy, the Justice Department has sought to punish cities and other local jurisdictions that have joined a growing "sanctuary" movement aimed at shielding illegal immigrants from stepped-up deportation efforts.

Judge Harry D. Leinenweber said Chicago had shown a "likelihood of success" in arguing that Sessions exceeded his authority with the new conditions.

A federal judge in Chicago has ruled that the Trump administration may not withhold public-safety grants to so-called sanctuary cities.

The ruling from US District Judge William Orrick III in San Francisco said Trump's order targeted broad categories of federal funding for sanctuary governments, and that plaintiffs challenging the order were likely to succeed in proving it unconstitutional.

Whether or not the ruling means that Leinenweber will ultimately decide in favor of the city is unclear, but he did make clear the city has a good case. The Chicago judge found Sessions to be exceeding his authority particularly when it comes to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.

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On Friday afternoon, Emanuel declined to speculate on whether the Trump administration would find another rationale to deny the city the grant — something that has never happened.

The rules at issue would have required police to provide the Department of Homeland Security with unlimited access to police stations to interrogate civilians who are arrested, and give at least a 48-hour notice before the release of someone suspected of immigration violations.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice disagreed.

Sessions described Chicago's lawsuit in August as "astounding". Cautioning that the Justice Department's approach could cause "irreparable harm", he also pointed to concerns over mistrust between the public and law enforcement.

The judge's opinion temporarily blocks the DOJ program while the lawsuit plays out in court and claims Sessions doesn't have the authority to implement the policy. Here, we follow binding Supreme Court precedent and the persuasive authority of the Second Circuit, neither of which elevates federalism to the degree urged by the City here. "Once such trust is lost, it can not be repaired through an award of money damages, making it the type of harm that is especially hard to rectify", Leinenweber writes.

"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.



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