In Chicago's lawsuit, the city claims that the Justice Department targeted it and other cities after Judge Orrick's decision. This comes after new regulations would deny the city public safety grants because they are a sanctuary city.
Chicago officials say there are new qualifications for a federal public safety grant requiring cities to share information with federal immigration authorities, which they allege are unconstitutional. And San Francisco became the first city to file a similar lawsuit back in January, noting similar problems.
"The cities and states affected by these provisions have strong arguments to make in court that these conditions are illegal", said a former Justice Department official familiar with California officials' thinking. More than a dozen cities across the country have enacted legislation or drafted policies instructing local police not to question people about their immigration status, and not to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement if someone is found to be in the country illegally.
Among the seven counts alleged in the lawsuit are claims that the Justice Department violated the constitutional ideal of separation of powers because "imposing a new condition on a federal grant program amounts to refusing to spend money appropriated by Congress unless that condition is satisfied".
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's office told Next it's too early to say what, if any role Denver would have in supporting Chicago's lawsuit.
The Obama administration first raised the issue of potential violations in 10 jurisdictions past year, and the Trump administration followed up by sending letters demanding proof of compliance.
"They have demonstrated an open hostility to enforcing laws created to protect law enforcement - Federal, state, and local - and reduce crime, and instead have adopted an official policy of protecting criminal aliens who prey on their own residents", Sessions said in a surprisingly combative statement.
Following Attorney General Jeff Sessions' threat to withhold certain federal funds from "sanctuary cities" that harbor undocumented immigrants, it appears that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a team of like-minded lawyers are prepared to sue the Trump administration in turn.
In May, the city launched a campaign in response to President Donald Trump's threats to cut off funding for sanctuary cities.
The lawsuit, which names Sessions, seeks to remove the immigration-related conditions for the grant applications.
Sessions announced that any city applying for the program this year must meet new requirements: The should allow Homeland Security officers to enter jails and inquire about inmates' citizenship, and they also would be required to notify federal officers 48 hours before any suspected immigration violator is released from local custody.