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Case Name City of Chicago v. Sessions III IM-IL-0023
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-06859 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Case Summary
This case is a response to efforts by the Trump Administration to strip law enforcement funding from “sanctuary” cities and states unless their governments agree to participate in federal immigration enforcement. The City of Chicago previously sued the Department of Justice over these ... read more >
This case is a response to efforts by the Trump Administration to strip law enforcement funding from “sanctuary” cities and states unless their governments agree to participate in federal immigration enforcement. The City of Chicago previously sued the Department of Justice over these conditions in 2017; details of that ongoing case can be found here.

The City of Chicago filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on October 12, 2018. The plaintiff, represented by its Department of Law and private attorneys, sued the U.S. Attorney General under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.). The plaintiff claimed that immigration-related conditions imposed by the government on federal funding to the city were unauthorized by Congress, ultra vires, and in violation of principles of federalism. The plaintiff sought declaratory relief, as well as an injunction to prevent the government from imposing the conditions on the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program, which provided support for Chicago law enforcement. The case was assigned to Judge Harry D. Leinenweber.

In its complaint, the plaintiff pointed out that this court had recently struck down many of the same conditions at issue here, referring to a permanent injunction that had been entered to prevent the conditions from being applied to Byrne JAG grants in the prior fiscal year. The plaintiff alleged that despite this injunction, the government was again attempting to impose unlawful immigration-related conditions on the Byrne JAG grants for fiscal year 2018. The plaintiff stated that three of the FY2018 conditions were materially identical to FY2017 conditions which had already been set aside by the court. These conditions required grant recipients to: give the federal government 48-hour notice prior to an arrestee’s release; give federal immigration officials unlimited access to local police stations and law enforcement facilities; and comply with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, which bars local governments from restricting their employees from sharing citizenship and immigration status information with federal immigration authorities. The plaintiff also alleged that the government added an additional unlawful condition for FY2018: requiring cities to certify compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1644, meaning they would not publicly disclose federal law enforcement information in an attempt to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection fugitives from justice or undocumented immigrants.

The plaintiff filed an amended complaint on December 17, 2018, addressing the issue of Attorney General Sessions’s resignation, which occurred in November. The plaintiff alleged that Matthew Whitaker’s assumption of Sessions’s duties violated federal law and the Appointments Clause. Furthermore, the plaintiff alleged that since the city received an award letter for its FY2018 Byrne JAG grant shortly after Whitaker took over, Whitaker could not impose the challenged grant conditions on Chicago, because he could not lawfully exercise the powers of the Attorney General. The plaintiff later abandoned this claim because Whitaker was appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate in February 2019.

The government filed a motion for partial dismissal on March 1, 2019, with regard to the plaintiff's claims not already covered by the district court's ruling in the 2017 case.

On April 3, 2019, Chicago filed a motion for partial summary judgment on its claims that the conditions imposed on FY2018 Byrne JAG awards were ultra vires, violated the separation of powers and the Spending Clause, and were contrary to law and arbitrary and capricious.

On September 19, 2019, Judge Leinenweber granted in part and denied in part both parties' motions. First, he held that Chicago had sufficiently alleged an injury-in-fact to establish standing. Next, he found that DOJ's proposed placement of these conditions was final agency action subject to judicial review, and that the Attorney General lacked statutory authority to place the conditions on the city's receipt of Byrne JAG funding; thus, the DOJ's imposition of the conditions violated the separation of powers and was ultra vires. He also held that § 1644 violated the Tenth Amendment because it prevented state or local government entities/officials from prohibiting disclosure of immigration statute to or from federal immigration authorities (he noted that § 1644's language was essentially identical to § 1373, which had been found unconstitutional in the 2017 case). Finally, he decided that a permanent injunction was warranted.

Judge Leinenweber noted that the district court's last injunction, in the 2017 litigation, was limited to the FY2017 Byrne JAG program in the hope that the DOJ would not reimpose its unlawful conditions. But, because the DOJ did impose the conditions again in FY2018, the Judge found it appropriate to enter a permanent injunction covering all future years of the Byrne JAG program. However, because the nationwide scope of the injunction in the 2017 case was currently stayed pending decision from the Seventh Circuit, the Judge stayed the nationwide scope of the injunction in this case, pending the outcome of that appeal. 405 F.Supp.3d 748.

On November 18, 2019, the government filed an appeal to the Seventh Circuit (docket no. 19-3290).

On November 20, 2019, the Seventh Circuit consolidated the appeal of the injunction in this case with the appeal of the injunction in the 2017 case, City of Chicago v. Sessions.

On March 6, 2020, Chicago filed a motion for attorney fees with the district court.

On April 30, 2020, the Seventh Circuit affirmed Judge Leinenweber's grant of injunctive relief to Chicago and extended it nationwide. The Court found that while the executive branch has significant powers in the realm of immigration, it does not have Congress' power of the purse and thus cannot withhold Byrne JAG grants in order to force Chicago to alter its behavior. The Court affirmed the district court's grants of declaratory relief to Chicago, finding that the Attorney General exceeded the authority delegated to him by Congress in imposing the challenged conditions to the FY2017 and FY2018 grants, and that the Attorney General's decision to impose the conditions in both years violated the separation of powers.

The Court found it unnecessary to reach the constitutionality of § 1373 under the anti-commandeering doctrine. The government had relied on language in 34 U.S.C. § 10153 to support its imposition of the compliance condition. § 10153 stated that in a request for a grant, the application shall include a certification that the applicant "will comply with all provisions of this part and all other applicable Federal laws." The government had argued that the reference to "all other applicable Federal laws" allowed it to require that applicants certify compliance with § 1373. However, the Seventh Circuit disagreed with this interpretation and instead found that the phrase could not be construed so broadly as to encompass all federal laws that applied to states or localities, including federal immigration statutes.

The Court also held that a nationwide injunction was proper due to the interconnected nature of applicants for the Byrne JAG grants. In order for the grant amounts to be properly calculated for Chicago, the Court held that the unlawful conditions could not be imposed elsewhere. Finally, the Court remanded for the district court to determine whether any other injunctive relief was appropriate in light of its determination that § 10153 could not be used to incorporate laws unrelated to the grants or grantees. 957 F.3d 772.

The case is ongoing.

Sam Kulhanek - 03/29/2020
Sam Kulhanek - 05/14/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Federalism
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Funding
Immigration/Border
Sanctuary city/state
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description The City of Chicago
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2019 - n/a
Filed 10/12/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-IL-0020 : City of Chicago v. Sessions (N.D. Ill.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Implementation of Executive Order 13768, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
The Washington Post
Date: May 22, 2017
By: Jefferson Sessions (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Executive Order 13767: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
Citation: 82 Fed. Reg. Presidential Documents 8793 (Jan. 27, 2017)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 25, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-6859 (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0023-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/28/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-IL-0023-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/12/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 34]
IM-IL-0023-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/17/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 80] (405 F.Supp.3d 748) (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0023-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/19/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (957 F.3d 772)
IM-IL-0023-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/30/2020
Source: Google Scholar
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Judges Leinenweber, Harry Daniel (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0003 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Manion, Daniel Anthony (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0004
Rovner, Ilana Kara Diamond (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0004
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adegbile, Debo Patrick (New York) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Baxenberg, Justin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Chaiken, Tal (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Crowl, Matthew Charles (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Evans, Ari (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Gorelick, Jamie S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Holtzblatt, Ari (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Houppert, Justin Anthony (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Jennings, Molly (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Kahlon, Harnaik Singh (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Kleinman, Laura A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Ogden, David W. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Safer, Ronald S. (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Savitzky, Ari J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Siskel, Edward N. (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Spears, Scott D. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Worseck, Andrew W (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-0001 | IM-IL-0023-0002 | IM-IL-0023-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Chicago, AUSA (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-9000
Mauler, Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-9000
Roberts, Charles E.T. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Rosenberg, Brad P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Simpson, W. Scott (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Other Lawyers Kinkead, Darren Bernens (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-9000
VanDam, Jeff (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0023-9000

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