WASHINGTON (CNN) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended his city’s lawsuit against the Justice Department on Monday, telling CNN the DOJ’s new stipulations against so-called sanctuary cities “undermines our actual safety agenda.”
“We want you to come to Chicago if you believe in the American dream,” he told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “Newsroom.” “By forcing us, or the police department, to choose between the values of the city and the philosophy of the police department, in community policing, I think it’s a false choice and it undermines our actual safety agenda.”
He continued: “So we’re going to be filing a case saying that the Justice Department is wrong on constitutional legal grounds that is we will always be a welcoming city … but it also is true that our police department is part of a neighborhood, part of a community, built on the premise of trust.”
On Sunday, Emanuel’s office announced that it planned to file a lawsuit against the DOJ over new conditions placed on federal law enforcement grant money requiring local police departments to assist in federal immigration actions.
Emanuel’s office said in a statement that the Trump administration’s “latest unlawful misguided action undermines public safety and violates” the Constitution. He said the city is challenging the administration “to ensure that their misguided policies do not threaten the safety of our residents.”
He added in the statement: “The federal government should be working with cities to provide necessary resources to improve public safety, not concocting new schemes to reduce our crime fighting resources.”
Ian Prior, a Justice Department spokesman, said in a statement Monday that “it’s especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago’s law enforcement at greater risk.”