City rests its case in sanctuary city lawsuit against Sessions

Pat Loeb
May 01, 2018 - 7:01 pm
Attorney General Jeff Sessions holds a sheet of paper containing text related to questioning by Sen. Al Frankenfrom Sessions' confirmation hearing in 2017 before the House Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing on the Department of Justice.

Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The City of Philadelphia rested its case today against U. S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 

The city filed a federal lawsuit to block Sessions from taking back a police grant because of the city's immigration policy.

Judge Michael Baylson heard from Chief of Staff for Criminal Justice Julie Wertheimer that the conditions imposed on the police grant — that the city must give immigration authorities access to prisons, notify them of release dates and hold prisoners on request — are a complete departure from what is normal for the grant. 

Justice Department attorneys began their case with an immigration officer who interviews federal prisoners. They plan to call other witnesses at a later date.

Even as the trial proceeded, Mayor Jim Kenney reaffirmed his commitment to welcoming immigration policies, evident at a ceremony to raise the Mexican flag at City Hall.

"We are in a very difficult time, as you all know, and we are here for you," Kenney said. "We want you here."

The mayor added that the city will honor judicial warrants to hold prisoners for federal authorities, in keeping with the Fourth Amendment.