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Monday, the City of Chicago filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration. This case happens to be about sanctuary cities, but at bottom, all cases against the Trump administration are the same lawsuit. In every instance, Donald Trump and the Goon Squad worship some piece of conservative dogma like it was handed down by God etched on stone tablets. They are absolutely positive that refugees are terrorists, immigrants steal American jobs, transgender troops are a danger to the military, fraudulent voting is rampant, et cetera ad nauseam. That these things are disproven by a Mt. Sinai of data is irrelevant. IT JUST FEELS TRUE!

So Donald Trump burps out a bunch of tweets. The Howler Monkeys at Breitbart and Fox do their thing. And the Justice Department cobbles together some statute that is blatantly illegal, relies on non-existent data, and is wildly unpopular. Followed by a resounding chorus of protest marches and lawsuits filed in liberal jurisdictions. Third verse, same as the first. Over. And over. And over.

One hundred bottles of beer on the wall. One hundred bottles of beer. If one of those bottles should happen to fall ... Holy fucking shit we have three and a half more years of this lunacy!

It's True If You Believe It

Recently, Donald Trump told the Boy Scouts a wholesome story about scary immigrant animals who like to cut up pretty white girls with machetes:

... [Y]ou've seen the stories about some of these animals. They don't want to use guns, because it's too fast and it's not painful enough. So they'll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others, and they slice them and dice them with a knife, because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we've been protecting for so long. Well, they're not being protected any longer, folks.

The old goat really believes this shit. Of course, it's not true. But he and Jeff Sessions have been threatening to take a machete to federal dollars for "sanctuary cities" since before they got into office.

Showtime, Howler Monkeys!

THAT TRAIN IS NEVER LATE.

Jefferson 'Boiled Peanuts' Sessions Is Ready For His Close-Up!

Chicago is suing the Justice Department over a pot of federal crime prevention dollars called the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program. Congress appropriates the money, and the Justice Department allocates it to states and municipalities based on population and level of violent crime in each jurisdiction.

Last year, Chicago received $2.3 million under the BJA. This year, Jeff Sessions made receipt of the money dependent on jurisdictions certifying they had complied with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, which requires local police to share immigration data with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Chicago responded, "We don't collect immigration data from arrestees, so here's a big bowl of nothin' for ya!"

Jeff Sessions does not like to be sassed! So he sent a letter to seven cities including Chicago and also Cook County, Illinois (which contains Chicago and 29 surrounding townships), saying he very much doubted they were really complying with § 1373. Then he went home and had a think about how to make those cities respect his authoritah.

Ol' Jeff was feeling wily! So he came up with A PLAN to impose new conditions on the receipt of BJA money. According to the lawsuit filed by Chicago,

... [I]n late July 2017, the Department announced ... the FY 2017 Byrne JAG application would include two additional intrusive grant conditions. These new conditions would require Chicago (1) to detain its own residents and others at federal immigration officials’ request, in order to give the federal government a 48-hour notice window prior to an arrestee’s release; and (2) to give federal immigration officials unlimited access to local police stations and law enforcement facilities in order to interrogate any suspected noncitizen held there, effectively federalizing all of the City’s detention facilities.

Yes, Jeff Sessions is trying to withhold police funding from a city in the middle of a crime wave if it doesn't change its "Welcoming City" laws by September 5, 2017, when the grant applications for 2018 are due. Because he is very concerned about the wellbeing of the citizens of Chicago!

In fact, Chicago will detain arrestees at ICE's request if there is a reason to believe they are dangerous, but NOT just so ICE can pick them up and deport them:

The expanded Welcoming City Ordinance provides that undocumented individuals will be detained at the federal government’s request only when Chicago has an independent reason to believe they might pose a threat to public safety: for example, if they have an outstanding criminal warrant, have been convicted of a felony, are a defendant in a criminal case where judgment has not been entered and a felony charge is pending, or have been identified as a known gang member.

Cut and Paste Litigation

Six months into this nightmare, lawyers are starting to get the hang of going to battle with the Trump Justice Department. If it's an immigration case, then it must be:

  • The Tenth Amendment: The Feds can't coerce state or municipal governments to enforce federal law;
  • The Spending Clause: Congress controls the federal budget, so it violates the separation of powers for the executive branch to impose unrelated conditions on money already allocated; and
  • Due Process: Detaining undocumented immigrants without a warrant violates the Constitutional ban on unreasonable search and seizure. If ICE wants Chicago to hold 'em, ICE can get a warrant.

Also, too, DOJ cannot just make shit up and call it law! Congress laid out criteria for distributing funds under the BJA, and the Justice Department can't unilaterally impose new conditions on grants that "are not awarded at the discretion of a state or federal agency, but are awarded pursuant to a statutory formula."

Translation: Oh, please, Jeff Sessions! Chicago smelled you coming a mile off. (It's the unmistakeable odor of Bengay and banana pudding!)

Facts Are Stubborn Things

Which is not to say that the Chicago case is boring! Sessions DOJ policy is always ignorant and malicious. But each case is batshit crazy in its own special way.

In this instance, Jeff Sessions is insisting Chicago give ICE 48 hours notice when it intends to release or transfer a requested detainee. But state law requires Chicago to release prisoners almost immediately, or transfer custody to Cook County jail, over which the city has no jurisdiction:

The City detains arrestees in 18 temporary police “lockup” facilities, used for immediate post-arrest holding and processing, as well as post-arrest investigation. Arrestees not released on their own recognizance generally are transported by the Chicago Police Department the next morning to the Circuit Court of Cook County for probable cause proceedings or to Cook County detention facilities. Thus, as a matter of practice and procedure, the City itself infrequently detains individuals for more than 24 hours.

So, not only is the DOJ insisting that Chicago ditch its "Welcoming City" Ordinance, but also BY THE WAY, they need to get Illinois to make a major change to its criminal code in the next 29 days before the BJA application is due.

Not giving a shit about local law is kind of Jeff Sessions's thing. Last week the DOJ informed police in Baltimore (home of Your 5$F) that the city would be ineligible for funds under the Public Safety Partnership if the Baltimore city jail doesn't start complying with ICE detainer requests. Except the jail is under exclusive control of the State of Maryland, and city officials have zero power to change policy there. Baltimore is on pace for 400 homicides this year, so the DOJ will assist the police by withholding federal law enforcement funds. THANKS, JEFF!

So, Now What?

Jeff Sessions says Chicago deserves a crime wave because it loves immigrants so much. From the Chicago Sun Times:

“To a degree perhaps unsurpassed by any other jurisdiction, the political leadership of Chicago has chosen deliberately and intentionally to adopt a policy that obstructs this country’s lawful immigration system,” Sessions said in a prepared statement. “They have demonstrated an open hostility to enforcing laws designed to protect law enforcement — federal, state, and local — and reduce crime, and instead have adopted an official policy of protecting criminal aliens who prey on their own residents.

“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.

“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 roll back the culture of lawlessness that has beset the city.”

Oh, good. We're back to Step 1 Dogma again. Hooray!!!

Eight hundred seventy-four bottles of beer on the wall...

[Chicago Sanctuary City Lawsuit / CNN / Chicago Sun Times / WaPo]

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Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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