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Federal Judge Rules against Trump Justice Department in Chicago ‘Sanctuary City’ Case

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A federal judge Friday sided with the city of Chicago in its sanctuary city lawsuit, ruling that the Trump administration does not have the authority to withhold federal public safety funding from the city if it limits its cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

The city filed its suit against the U.S. Justice Department in August, after the department mandated local governments meet a set of conditions to be eligible for federal grant funding. The conditions included having local governments certify they would comply with a federal law barring restrictions on federal-local sharing of information on an immigrant’s status and granting Homeland Security personnel access to local police and law enforcement facilities.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber on Friday agreed with the city, granting a permanent injunction against all three of the conditions the Department of Justice sought to impose.

“Today’s opinion in favor of Chicago and against the Trump Justice Department marks a major win for all Chicagoans and a significant victory for public safety,” said Mayor Emanuel in a Friday statement. “We will never be coerced or intimidated into abandoning our values as a welcoming city. Welcoming immigrants, refugees and dreamers from every corner of the globe is part of Chicago’s history, and part of our future, no matter which way the political winds are blowing in Washington.”

City ordinance bars police from granting ICE officials access to individuals in Chicago police custody, except when they’re wanted on a criminal warrant or have a serious criminal conviction. Police also cannot allow ICE agents to use their facilities for investigations, and on-duty officers are not allowed to respond to ICE inquiries or communicate with ICE officials about a person’s custody status or release.

Friday’s ruling is “another significant legal victory for Chicago and reaffirms the City’s position that the Attorney General lacks the authority to create the grant conditions we have challenged,” said Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel in a Friday release.

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