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Judges Push Back on Immigration Crackdown

Judges in Illinois and across the country are fighting the fallout from President Donald Trump’s efforts to curb illegal immigration, with Chicago among the centers of dissent. In the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Harry Leinenweber cited 10th Amendment rules on separation of powers in rejecting Department of Justice attempts to place conditions on a federal grant program that helps municipalities improve public safety. Meanwhile, the nation’s immigration justices are petitioning the Federal Labor Relations Authority for help in thwarting the DoJ’s attempt to bust their union.

Leinenweber’s ruling on so-called Sanctuary Cities that provide safe harbor for undocumented immigrants means that the DoJ cannot seek unfettered access to court records or receive advance notice of when individuals held on petty crimes will be released from custody. The City of Evanston, which stood to lose a share of the $50 million in aid awarded annually, led the complaint that challenged the conditions in federal court. In addition to relief from unfair labor practices, the union that represents the country’s 400 immigration judges also is challenging DoJ quotas designed to clear the backlog of more than a million cases that has resulted from the Trump Administration’s quest to rid the country of illegal aliens.