U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber ruled that the Justice Department could not withhold public safety grant money to so-called “sanctuary cities” for refusing to impose new tough immigration policies.
This is a big defeat for President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and many others in the far-right anti-immigrant wing of the Republican party.
Judge Leinenweber said that the city of Chicago, which challenged the DOJ over the threat, had shown a “likelihood of success” in arguing that Sessions was overreaching and abusing his authority with the new conditions. Among them are requirements that cities notify immigration agents when someone in the country illegally is about to be released from local jails and to allow agents access to the jails.
The city of Chicago had asked the judge to issue a nationwide injunction on the DOJ’s requirements or at least block them until lawsuit against the department plays out in court.
Whether or not the ruling means that Leinenweber will ultimately decide in favor of the city is unclear.
During the hearing, an attorney for the city of Chicago, Ron Safer, painted an ominous picture if the the Justice Department prevailed, saying that they could use the same argument to “seize” even more authority to tie grant money to doing what Trump wants.
Trump, Sessions, the entire administration…they all need to go! Do you AGREE?