Federal judge again blocks Trump from punishing sanctuary cities

Federal judge again blocks Trump from punishing sanctuary cities

A federal judge in Chicago issued a nationwide injunction Friday blocking the Trump administration's rule requiring sanctuary cities like NY to comply with immigration authorities or risk losing an annual federal grant dedicated to murdered NYPD Officer Edward Byrne, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber made the ruling Friday, in which he granted Chicago's request for a temporary "nationwide" injunction.

"By protecting criminals from immigration enforcement, cities and states with "so-called" sanctuary policies make their communities less safe and undermine the rule of law", spokesman Devin O'Malley said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had threatened to withhold public safety grant money to Chicago and other so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to impose new tough immigration policies.

A federal judge has handed a defeat to Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he looks to punish so-called "sanctuary cities" such as NY. The ruling further frustrates an administration mired in litigation over immigration policy since Trump took office in January.

The announcement came just days after a nationwide conversation about Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children. Trump later adopted a softer tone toward the 800,000 immigrants protected by DACA, telling them not to worry about being deported.

Chicago sued Sessions last month over new conditions tied to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.

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On Friday, Mr. Emanuel declined to speculate on whether the Trump administration would find another rationale to deny the city the grant - something that has never happened.

The ruling has the power to impact at least seven cities and counties, as well as the state of California, that have defied the Justice Departments' new rules. "It's a win for cities, counties, and states across the country", said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "This is astounding given the unprecedented violent crime surge in Chicago, with the number of murders in 2016 surpassing both NY and Los Angeles combined".

The Justice Department grants at issue typically are used to help police improve crime-fighting techniques, buy new equipment and assist victims of crime. "The city's leaders can not follow some laws and ignore others and reasonably expect this horrific situation to improve".

Leinenweber agreed with Chicago's assertion that trust between police and the community could suffer as a result of the restrictions, saying that it is a type of harm "that is especially hard to rectify".

They have also assumed executive authority by controlling the budget and deciding which cities can receive federal funds.

The decision is notably a preliminary injunction, meaning the Trump administration is temporarily - but not permanently - blocked from action while the case progresses through the courts.

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