Chicago Sues Trump Administration For Withholding Federal Grant Money

The Trump administration 'cannot unilaterally impose new certifications and offer vague references to federal laws as a justification for unlawful actions,' the sanctuary city's attorney says.

Chicago Sues Trump Administration For Withholding Federal Grant Money
Oliver Contreras - Pool / Getty Images

The Trump administration 'cannot unilaterally impose new certifications and offer vague references to federal laws as a justification for unlawful actions,' the sanctuary city's attorney says.

The city of Chicago is suing the Trump administration for withholding federal grant money for police departments, The Hill reports.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, filed what is now the city’s second lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s administration Friday.

Chicago, a so-called sanctuary city, has refused to cooperate with the administration’s strict immigration policies.

As Fox News reported, after promising a crackdown on sanctuary cities – cities in the U.S. where illegal immigrants are not prosecuted – President Trump signed an executive order stripping federal grant money from cities that host illegal immigrants. A federal judge later blocked the controversial executive order, but the Justice Department has taken action against sanctuary cities.

Chicago filed a similar lawsuit last year, The Hill notes, but city officials are now arguing that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department imposed new restrictions.

They reportedly have, since local law enforcement is now obliged to inform immigration officials about individuals with “questionable legal status,” and to grant immigration officials access to prisoners for questioning. Defying these orders, Chicago has a written ordinance meant to prevent federal immigration officials from having access to individuals in custody, except for those with serious criminal convictions.

Chicago alleges that the Justice Department withheld $5 million in federal grant money from 2017 over the city’s refusal to cooperate. Sixty percent of the money was meant to cover the salaries for police officers, according to city officials.

In a statement supplied to The Hill, Chicago’s attorney Ed Siskel said the following.

“We have already won this battle in court, and yet the Attorney General continues to disregard numerous federal court rulings that have repeatedly said he does not have the authority to add these requirements to a grant program created by Congress.”

According to Siskel, the Trump administration “cannot unilaterally impose new certifications and offer vague references to federal laws as a justification for unlawful actions.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had previously feuded with President Donald Trump over the city’s gun violence problems, vowing that Chicago would brand itself as an anti-Trump city.

Speaking before law enforcement officials at a convention for the International Association of Chiefs of Police earlier this week, President Trump suggested that Chicago implements the controversial “stop and frisk” program.

However, the program may not be implemented after all. Rapper Kanye West appears to have changed the president’s mind, according to the Washington Post, and Trump is now “open-minded” about stop-and-frisk policing.

Stop and first was used extensively in New York City until it was deemed unconstitutional due to its impact on minorities, and Chicago curbed the practice altogether in 2015.