Chicago, Denver and others temporarily shut down Jeff Sessions’ threat to “sanctuary city” funding

The federal government won’t be allowed, for now, to withhold money from “sanctuary cities.” But the legal fight isn’t over.

Students raise their hands to show that they know someone who has been deported. Thousands walked out of class to attend a rally on the Auraria campus in response to the repeal of DACA, Sept. 5, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

daca; undocumented; immigration; tivoli student union; auraria campus; rally; protest; walkout; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Students raise their hands to show that they know someone who has been deported. Thousands walked out of class to attend a rally on the Auraria campus in response to the repeal of DACA, Sept. 5, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) daca; undocumented; immigration; tivoli student union; auraria campus; rally; protest; walkout; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Students raise their hands to show that they know someone who has been deported. Thousands walked out of class to attend a rally on the Auraria campus in response to the repeal of DACA, Sept. 5, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The federal government won’t be allowed, for now, to withhold money from “sanctuary cities.” But the legal fight isn’t over.

Chicago and dozens of other governments, including Denver, have convinced a federal judge to temporarily forbid the Trump administration from following through on financial threats to cities that don’t cooperate with immigration authorities, the Associated Press reported.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinewebber ruled that the cities had shown a “likelihood of success” in their lawsuit against the Justice Department, the AP reported. The temporary injunction will block the Justice Department’s threats to withhold public safety money from “sanctuary cities” until the lawsuit can play out in court.

Last month, Denver passed a new ordinance limiting the city’s cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, drawing criticism from the feds and potentially sucking it into the fight.

Denver officials believe they still meet federal requirements, they said, but Hancock acknowledged at the time that there was some risk that the feds would take revenge.

Jeffrey Lynch, the head of ICE’s Denver field office, called the ordinance “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” For his part, Mayor Michael Hancock said that the White House has “sought to bully us into turning against certain residents of our community.”

Denver gets about $900,000 of the grant money that Sessions has threatened. The cities’ lawsuit against the federal government says that Sessions’ threats overstep his authority.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.