The war of words between Chicago and the federal government over "sanctuary cities" policy is heating up. Attorney General Jeff Sessions slammed the city's leaders Monday over their lawsuit against the Trump administration, saying they "have demonstrated an open hostility to enforcing laws designed to protect law enforcement" and "instead have adopted an official policy of protecting criminal aliens who prey on their own residents," despite a surge in violent crime, Politico reports. Sessions said Mayor Rahm Emanuel has complained that the federal government is demanding a "reordering of law enforcement practice"—but that is what is needed to combat "the culture of lawlessness that has beset the city."
"It's this simple: Comply with the law or forgo taxpayer dollars," Sessions said. Chicago is suing over plans to withhold police grant funding from cities that fail to meet federal conditions, including granting immigration officials unlimited access to police stations, the Chicago Tribune reports. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Monday that the federal government's plans will damage public safety and community policing. "Undocumented immigrants are not driving violence in Chicago, and that’s why I want our officers focused on community policing and not trying to be the immigration police," he said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. (Read more Chicago stories.)