Chicago sues Justice Department over sanctuary cities policy

Chicago received $2.3 million in JAG funds last year. It typically uses the money to purchase such items as SWAT equipment, tasers, police cars, and radios.
By Harry Marcolis | Aug 09, 2017
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel filed suit in federal court on behalf of his city Monday in an effort to block new Justice Department rules that would cut off a government grant for 'sanctuary cities,' such as Chicago.

The suit questions the legality of a rule announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month that imposed new conditions for receipt of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, known as the Byrne JAG program, which grants federal funds to support local policing.

Sessions said in July that the Justice Department will provide JAG funds only to those cities that, in compliance with a federal statute, share information about immigrants with federal authorities, allow federal immigration officials access to local jails, and give the Department of Homeland Security at least 48 hours advance notice before releasing an undocumented immigrant wanted by the feds.

But Chicago argues that the city is already in compliance with federal law and that Sessions' new conditions are unconstitutional and would force Chicago to violate state law.

"Chicago can comply with the Department's new notice condition and provide DHS with 48 hours of lead time prior to arrestees' release only if the City detains arrestees for longer than they would otherwise be held in the City's custody, which implicates constitutional, state-law, fiscal, logistical, and other legal concerns," argued the city in its brief to the court, as reported by CNN.

Chicago received $2.3 million in JAG funds last year. It typically uses the money to purchase such items as SWAT equipment, tasers, police cars, and radios.

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