Jeff Sessions can't withhold grant money from sanctuary cities, judge rules

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District Court Judge Harry Leinenweber ruled that the Justice Department can not withhold grants from a program to fund public safety from cities who refuse to share the immigration status of detainees with federal authorities, the Hill reported.

The grant at issue is called the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, and the funds benefit law enforcement. One would require the city to give the feds, when requested, a 48-hour heads up of the scheduled release date and time "of an alien in the jurisdiction's custody".

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber on Friday granted Chicago's request for a temporary "nationwide" injunction. Leinenweber extended the order to jurisdictions around the country, "there being no reason to think that the legal issues present in this case are restricted to Chicago".

At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the state of California, have refused to cooperate with new federal rules regarding sanctuary cities.

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Though the $1.5 million is just a tiny fraction of the city's budget, the ruling could be a major victory for a city that has been in a public fight with Sessions.

A judge has halted an attempt by the Trump administration to block sanctuary cities from obtaining funding from a federal government program.

Earlier this month, Sessions announced that the administration would end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects young immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children or came with families who overstayed their visas.

"So-called sanctuary policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes", Sessions said.