things that matter

Chicago Mayor Is Getting Ready To Sue The Trump Administration Over Threats To Defund ‘Sanctuary Cities’

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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.”

(H/T: Chicago Sun-Times)

READ: These Mayors Sticking Up For The Immigrants In Their Cities Will Bring You To Tears

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Some Court Officials In New York Are Defying ICE By Warning People Of Their Presence

Things That Matter

Some Court Officials In New York Are Defying ICE By Warning People Of Their Presence

John Moore / Getty

Ever since Donald Trump became president, we’ve read the shocking stories about undocumented immigrants attempting to do the right thing by going to their scheduled court hearings and ICE check-ins, only to be taken away by immigration officials. It’s as if undocumented immigrants are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. But there are people in high-ranking positions that are looking out for undocumented immigrants and lending them some help.

The New York Times profiled several judges and defense attorneys who regularly inform undocumented immigrants when they spot ICE officials in court or anywhere near their vicinity. Defense lawyers and court officers can usually spot undercover ICE officials who are there to do detain someone, and their chain of communication is very fascinating.

“If a pair of people look suspicious, lawyers from the Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services and the Legal Aid Society send an internal email alert,” The New York Times reports.

Once they send out the email message, undocumented immigrants will find somewhere to hide from ICE agents — including bathrooms. ICE officials don’t wait around forever for their prey, so they often leave when they can’t find the person they’re trying to detain.

At least that’s how it worked for a 29-year-old undocumented Chinese woman who was in court facing charges for overstaying her tourist visa, working as a prostitute, and as an unlicensed masseuse. According to The New York Times, court officers spotted ICE officials and informed the judge. In turn, the judge set bail for the Chinese woman at $500. Although this meant she would have to stay in jail, it actually gave her a chance to meet with her lawyer and avoid being detained by ICE.

As we noted, court officers have at times informed the judge about ICE, because it’s a union policy. However, according to Politico story published in March, court officers in New York were instructed to cooperate with ICE officials “100%” per a memo by the head of the State Court Officers’ union. This means that at least some court officers are not complying with those orders.

[Read More]: A Game of Cat and Mouse With High Stakes: Deportation

READ: After 16 Years Of Working And Always Paying His Taxes With No Criminal Record, This Father Has Been Deported

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