TDR Partners Brian C. Haussmann and Kate M. O’Brien traveled to Washington, D.C. to brief the U.S. Conference of Mayors on the firm’s work in Chicago v. Sessions and on immigration-related legal challenges facing Chicago and other cities.
Haussmann spoke on the second day of the Conference’s Winter Meeting on a panel titled “Immigration: Responding to Current Challenges.” The panel discussion was led by Mayors Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Jorge Elorza of Providence, and Tom Tait of Anaheim. Haussmann was also joined on the panel by Mayors Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary and Steve Adler of Austin, as well as Avideh Moussavian, a Senior Policy Attorney with the National Immigration Law Center and Tony Choi, a DREAMer and activist for immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Haussmann’s presentation focused on TDR’s representation of the Conference in Chicago v. Sessions and recent steps taken by the Department of Justice and Attorney General to withhold federal law enforcement grant money to cities as a means of pressuring cities to change “Welcoming City” policies designed to maintain life-saving relationships with immigrant communities.
“The stakes for cities are very high,” Haussmann said. Noting that cities like Chicago have had Welcoming City policies in place for decades, Haussmann explained, “The evidence suggests that [Welcoming City] policies make . . . communities safer. They do not call for the harboring of criminal aliens. They call for the appropriate enforcement of local laws in a way that does not alienate communities that are absolutely essential for the enforcement of those laws.”
Haussmann also described and analyzed the course of the litigation in Chicago v. Sessions, offered his views on related litigation that is ongoing or likely in other cities, and answered the questions of mayors.