Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling out the federal government for overstepping their power and “blackmailing” sanctuary cities, according to Chicago Sun-Times. Emanuel’s criticism and hardline stance against the Trump administration’s threats stem from new documents outlining what is required by cities to receive federal funds for police departments.
San Francisco’s city attorney, Dennis Herrera, spoke out against the same documents last week and is also suing the Trump administration over the threats to defund ‘sanctuary cities,’ according to The New York Times. According to both reports, in order for a city to get a grant, they must give federal immigration officials access to their jails so they can confirm the citizenship of the inmates that are incarcerated. Cities who receive funding must also give Immigration and Customs Enforcement 48-hour notice before releasing “suspected” immigration violators. Both Chicago and San Francisco are suing the administration to challenge the constitutionality of the new rule.
“In 2016, more Chicagoans were murdered than in New York City and Los Angeles combined. So it’s especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago’s law enforcement at greater risk,” Sarah Isgur Flores, spokeswoman for the Justice Department, told the Chicago Sun-Times when asked why the administration was targeting ‘sanctuary cities.’
The Chicago Sun-Times points out that the law firms that are representing Chicago in the lawsuit are doing so for free. The Trump administration has been threatening to cut funding to so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ since he was elected as president.
“Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate,” Emanuel said during a news conference, according to Voice of America. “Chicago will not let our residents have their fundamental rights isolated and violated. And Chicago will never relinquish our status as a welcoming city.”