City

Here Is the Lawsuit That Philly Just Filed Against Jeff Sessions

The city wants the court to block new conditions for a crucial federal grant program that brings in $2 million a year.

jeff sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a file photo. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Philly sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday in the latest development of the heated sanctuary cities debate.

In its lawsuit, the city argues that conditions that Sessions recently added to a crucial Department of Justice grant program are “contrary to law, unconstitutional, and arbitrary and capricious.” 

Sessions announced the new requirements for the federal program in July, a month before the city was obligated to submit an application for the grant, according to the lawsuit. Under the conditions, the city must comply with Section 1373 of Title 8 of the U.S. Code, which mandates that all jurisdictions must communicate with federal agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service; grant ICE access to inmates of interest in Philly’s prison system; and provide ICE with 48-hours-notice of the scheduled release of a prisoner of interest.

The grant at hand is the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which Philly has applied for and received every year since the program’s 2005 inception, according to the lawsuit. Throughout the past 11 years, the grant has brought the city an average of $2.17 million per year. That money goes toward the Philadelphia Police Department as well as the District Attorney’s Office and juvenile delinquency programs for the city’s youth.

Here’s the lawsuit filed in federal court today:

City of Philadelphia Lawsuit Against AG Jeff Sessions by PhiladelphiaMagazine on Scribd

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.