CHICAGO - A federal judge ruled Friday against the Department of Justice's attempt to withhold funding from Chicago because the city refuses to cooperate in sharing immigration status info with federal officials.
“The court finds that the city has established that it would suffer irreparable harm if a preliminary injunction is not entered,” U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber wrote in his ruling.
He said the injunction is nationwide in scope, with “there being no reason to think that the legal issues present in this case are restricted to Chicago.”
The city of Chicago adopted a "welcoming ordinance in 2013" that prohibits disclosure of a person's immigration status and bars federal immigration officials from city facilities. Police are not allowed to ask an individual's immigration status.
Governor Rauner recently signed into law a measure expanding Chicago's policy statewide.
Like other sanctuary cities, Chicago has a longstanding policy of not sharing information with federal immigration authorities unless a suspect is charged or convicted of a serious crime. The policy “promotes cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities,” Chicago said in its complaint.
The Justice Department argued that it has discretion to attach conditions to the Byrne grants and that Chicago was effectively demanding that the U.S. give it control over the program.
At stake was $2.3 million dollars in federal grants to the city of Chicago.
Leinenweber, 80 years old, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1985.