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Even Illegal Immigration Supporters Hate Chicago Lawsuit Against Sessions


Immigrant rights groups slammed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, calling it a political cash-grab to uplift his image as an immigration supporter without actually affecting change.

Emanuel, a Democrat, filed the lawsuit against Sessions and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Monday, claiming Sessions’ policy of withholding law enforcement grant funds from “sanctuary cities” was unconstitutional. The Chicago Immigration Working Group (CIWG), an illegal immigrant rights group, slammed the litigation, claiming it doesn’t do anything for immigrants and serves only as a distraction.

“The primary purpose of the lawsuit filed by the City of Chicago is not to defend the rights of undocumented Chicagoans but to preserve federal funding for the Chicago Police Department and bolster Mayor Emanuel’s national image as a champion of immigrants,” the CIWG statement said. “The City is utilizing the lawsuit against the Department of Justice as a tactic to end negotiations with community members calling to remove the discriminatory carve outs from the Welcoming City Ordinance.”

Chicago’s lawsuit hopes to recover $3.2 million in funding that would have gone to city law enforcement if Chicago did not espouse policies shielding illegal immigrants. Sessions announced in July that the DOJ wouldn’t reward funding to cities that shirk federal immigration law.

The order requires that cities must share immigration status data with ICE officials, they must not bar ICE officials access to police stations, and they must give ICE officials at least 48 hours notice before releasing illegal immigrants from detainment.

In response, Emanuel claimed the city was being “blackmailed into changing our values,” and announced the lawsuit. The suit argues that the new DOJ requirements are “unauthorized and unconstitutional,” and claimed that the “basic right to self government” grants the city authority to direct local law enforcement not to work with federal immigration officers.

CIWG claimed the lawsuit was pointless, and that Chicago should focus on reforming the city’s already-soft illegal immigration policy.

“If the City of Chicago is truly serious about ensuring public safety and resisting the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, then it must take action to protect all individuals’ constitutional rights and amend the Welcoming City Ordinance to protect all Chicagoans without exceptions.”

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