Chicago referred to the action implemented by the justice department as a crackdown on sanctuary cities that also affects major cities like New York and San Francisco. President Donald Trump’s Justice Department withheld grant funding intended for the City of Chicago. The city’s corporate legal attorney Ed Siskel said that the expected amount is for public safety implementation.

The Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant

To avail of the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), the soliciting city has to submit an application for the funding. The purpose of this funds is to assist state, local, and tribal efforts in the reduction or prevention of crime and violence.

Chicago Mayor Emanuel Rahm wants to stop the implementation of the new JAG policy through a federal judge. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to hold the funding law will also affect the Cook County Jail, the largest single jail facility in the country also located in Chicago. The prison facility is also in a sanctuary status. The JAG fund augments city budget in the purchase of police cars, security equipment, and anti-violence programs, reports The Chicago Tribune.

New Justice Department Policy for grant funding

The application for a Justice Assistance Grant has new policies to be accomplished before its release. Atty. Sessions new guidelines include the sharing of immigration status information with agency officials enforcing the deportation proceedings, provision of unlimited access to police stations by immigration officers, and providing the agency with a 48-hour notice before the release of an immigration violator.

The new conditions set by the Justice Department does not fit well with the sanctuary status of Chicago and its law enforcers saying that they do not hold updated records of an individual’s immigration status. Unlimited police station access will disturb the police facility’s practices and would occur delays and interferences violating the tenth amendment by taking charge of local government functions, reports the New York Times.

The lawsuit also includes that the Justice Department has no authority to refuse the Byrne Grant Funding. The suit sees the condition as unlawful and unconstitutional. The charges show support for the local police department says Eddie Johnson, Chicago Police Superintendent. He adds that Chicago will not accept the standards of the Justice Department newly set policy by sacrificing the rights and safety of the public.

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