U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions slammed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday after the city filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s new sanctuary city policies, saying “no amount of federal taxpayer dollars” will go to Chicago if they move forward in retaliation. The Trump administration in March introduced a new policy that would withhold funds from so-called “sanctuary cities” that blockade U.S. immigration official access to local jails.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Monday claims these conditions “fly in the face of longstanding City policy that promotes cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities,” an argument Sessions described as “astounding.”
“No amount of federal taxpayer dollars will help a city that refuses to help its own residents,” Sessions said in the statement. “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.”
Emanuel, who previously served as White House chief of staff to former President Barack Obama, defended the lawsuit on CNN, saying the DOJ-ordered policy updates “undermines our actual safety agenda.”