NEW YORK—New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he has no plans at present to sue the Department of Justice, but the city is ready to take legal action if the DOJ withholds funds over their sanctuary city status.
When asked if the city would join Chicago’s lawsuit against the Department of Justice at a press meeting on Monday, De Blasio told The Daily Caller, “Well, if there is a specific effort to withhold funding we’re ready to join in legal action to stop it. So far there has not been any funding withheld, so our message is if funding actually starts to be withheld, then we will take legal action.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel filed a lawsuit Monday to block the Justice Department’s withholding of certain police grant funds from cities that operate under sanctuary status.
“Chicago can comply with the Department’s new notice condition and provide DHS with 48 hours of lead time prior to arrestees’ release only if the City detains arrestees for longer than they would otherwise be held in the City’s custody, which implicates constitutional, state-law, fiscal, logistical, and other legal concerns,” the city of Chicago argued in the court filing.
Emanuel defended the lawsuit Monday, telling CNN the Justice Department’s requirements on sanctuary cities “undermines our actual safety agenda.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions blasted the lawsuit, saying in a statement:
“This is astounding given the unprecedented violent crime surge in Chicago, with the number of murders in 2016 surpassing both New York and Los Angeles combined. The city’s leaders cannot follow some laws and ignore others and reasonably expect this horrific situation to improve.”
Sessions went on to say, “The Mayor complains that the federal government’s focus on enforcing the law would require a ‘reordering of law enforcement practice in Chicago.’ But that’s just what Chicago needs: a recommitment to the rule of law and to policies that rollback the culture of lawlessness that has beset the city.”
Sessions added, “This administration will not simply give away grant dollars to city governments that proudly violate the rule of law and protect criminal aliens at the expense of public safety. So it’s this simple: Comply with the law or forego taxpayer dollars.”