U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber will decide whether to immediately block conditions Sessions added to the applications for the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which is the leading source of federal funding for state and local law enforcement agencies.
Those conditions are unlawful and unconstitutional, Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel, the city's top lawyer, said in a legal filing seeking a temporary restraining order against the Department of Justice filed late Thursday.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has cast the effort by Trump administration efforts as an attempt to force Chicago to choose between its renewed commitment to community policing and its status as a self-declared "sanctuary city," where officers are prohibited from cooperating with federal immigration agents in most cases.
Cities that get the grant would have to "allow federal immigration access to detention facilities, and provide 48 hours notice before they release an illegal alien wanted by federal authorities," Sessions said in a statement.
That could force the Police Department to hold men and women under investigation longer than the constitutionally mandated 48 hours, Siskel said.
Sessions responded to the city's lawsuit by noting that more people have been killed in Chicago this year than in New York and Los Angeles combined and asserting that a "culture of lawlessness has beset the city."
"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," Session said in a statement.
In 2016, Chicago got $2.3 million through the grant, which was expanded by the Obama Administration to allow cities to purchase body cameras after a series of fatal encounters between police officers and unarmed civilians. The city got about the same amount from the grant in 2015, city records show.
City officials had expected to get $3.2 million in 2017 from the grant named for New York Police Officer Edward Byrne, who was slain on duty in 1988, said Molly Poppe, a spokeswoman for Emanuel.