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Thread: Sessions to 'Take on Chicago Political Leadership' in Sanctuary Cities Speech

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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Sessions to 'Take on Chicago Political Leadership' in Sanctuary Cities Speech

    August 16, 2017
    By Shelby Bremer

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to escalate his attacks on Chicago Wednesday during a speech on "sanctuary policies," a week after the City filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over efforts to block funding to local governments that do not turn undocumented immigrants over to federal authorities for deportation.

    Sessions is traveling to Miami-Dade, Florida, to deliver the remarks, which the Justice Department said in a release will "take on Chicago political leadership" as he looks to highlight jurisdictions that have "increased their cooperation and information sharing with federal immigration authorities."

    "I know that Miami-Dade will be an example of the good that comes from following the law," Sessions planned to say in his remarks, according to the DOJ. "We have already seen that: the same Independence Day weekend when Chicago suffered more than 100 shootings and 15 homicides, Miami-Dade also had a historic number of shooting deaths – zero."

    The speech itself will focus on the "growing trend of violent crime in sanctuary cities," the DOJ said, though several studieshave found that so-called "sanctuary" policies are not linked to an increase in crime.

    Sessions speech, during which he will be joined by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s acting Director Tom Homan, comes nine days after the City of Chicago filed a federal lawsuit against the DOJ, arguing that President Donald Trump’s administration’s bid to withhold public safety grants from sanctuary cities is illegal.

    "Chicago will not be blackmailed into changing our values, and we are and will remain a welcoming city," Emanuel said in a statement announcing the suit.

    "The federal government should be working with cities to provide necessary resources to improve public safety, not concocting new schemes to reduce our crime fighting resources," he continued. "The City of Chicago will continue to stand up to President Trump and his Justice Department to ensure that their misguided policies do not threaten the safety of our residents."

    The City filed the suit after the DOJ released its application for the 2017 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), a program Emanuel said Chicago has used in the past for various public safety initiatives, including the purchase of SWAT equipment, police vehicles, radios and tasers. Last year, the City received $2.3 million in Byrne JAG funding, according to the mayor.

    However, this year’s application includes provisions requiring local governments to allow the U.S. Department of Homeland Security access to any detention facility to meet with and inquire about the citizenship of anyone believed to be undocumented, and to give federal authorities 48 hours advance notice before releasing someone who is wanted on immigration violations, as conditions to receive funding – both changes in the program’s requirements from years past.

    The city's lawsuit argues that the Justice Department cannot make grants contingent on these requirements because they would "effectively federalize local detention facilities" and violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in requiring detainees to be held beyond the timeframe in which they would otherwise be eligible for release.

    The DOJ's shift in requirements is part of the Trump administration’s efforts to crack down on sanctuary cities, the term used for jurisdictions that do not comply with federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants who have been arrested on charges unrelated to their immigration status and turn them over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for possible deportation.

    Trump signed an executive order in January to block federal grants to sanctuary cities, an action that a judge blocked in April, ruling that the president could not set new conditions on spending approved by Congress - an argument included in the City of Chicago's lawsuit.

    However, Sessions has moved to intensify the crackdown on a number of occasions, most recently sending letters to four cities informing them they would be ineligible to receive resources under a new crime-fighting program unless their police departments show proof of compliance with the DOJ’s new rules.

    Hours after the suit was filed, Sessions hit back at Emanuel and Chicago, issuing a statement saying the city's leaders have "demonstrated an open hostility to enforcing laws designed to protect law enforcement... and reduce crime," adding that the administration "will not simply give away grant dollars to city governments that proudly violate the rule of law and protect criminal aliens at the expense of public safety."

    In March, Sessions said sanctuary cities' policies are "designed to frustrate the enforcement of our immigration laws" – a claim that Emanuel has refuted, repeatedly defending Chicago’s "Welcoming City" ordinance.

    "Chicago’s Welcoming City ordinance promotes public safety by ensuring that no city resident, regardless of their status, is afraid to cooperate with law enforcement, report criminal activity to the police, serve as a witness in court, or seek help as a victim of crime," a spokesman for Emanuel said in a statement.

    "I've always seen Chicago as a welcoming city," Emanuel said in response to Sessions' comments in March.

    "It welcomed my grandfather 100 years ago, we continue to welcome entrepreneurs, immigrants, and I would just say think of it this way: Half the new businesses in Chicago and the state of Illinois come from immigrants, nearly half," he added. "Half the patents at the University of Illinois come from immigrants, and so we want to continue to welcome people, welcome their ideas, welcome their families to the city of Chicago, who want to build the American dream for their children and their grandchildren."

    "Chicago was built on the back of immigrants and our future is hitched to the wagon of immigrants who come to the city," Emanuel continued. "I would say that the approach of penalizing cities, cities that are driving the economy, driving the energy of the United States – and they do it because we bring people of all different backgrounds to work together – that's just the wrong approach."

    Chicago is not alone in its immigration policies, as more than 200 jurisdictions nationwide have declared sanctuary status, including New York City, Los Angeles and more, with some expected to follow Chicago in filing suit.

    The city hopes to have a decision on the suit before the Sept. 5 deadline and officials said they do not anticipate the litigation "will cost the city any additional resources."

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local...440782073.html
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    Senior Member 6 Million Dollar Man's Avatar
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    I love this! Sessions rocks!!!
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