Yet despite such pressing issues facing the city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made a decision to focus on keeping Chicago's sanctuary city status safe.
"Chicago will not be blackmailed into changing our values، and we are and will remain a welcoming city،" Emanuel said.
Emanuel is suing because he says new rules for a federal crime-fighting grant go against the Constitution and the city's values.
"These new conditions - which would give federal officials the power to enter city facilities and interrogate arrestees at will and would force the City to detain individuals longer than justified by probable cause, exclusively to permit federal officials to investigate their immigration status - are unauthorized and unconstitutional", the complaint read.
"Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate", Emanuel, a Democrat, said at a news conference. Chicago will not allow to selectively violate the fundamental rights of our residents. The cities of San Francisco and Santa Clara, both in California, already have filed lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration's denial of federal fund allocations due to their status as sanctuary cities.
"Our job is to investigate crime", Chicago Police Dept. Since the grant only accounts for a small percentage of the city's budget, he can afford to lose the funding while positioning himself as a "high-profile bulwark" against the Trump administration - which could help him court more Hispanic voters.
The Department of Justice announced in late July new immigration compliance requirements for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) programs which include sharing more information among federal, state, and local law enforcement.
The Justice Department responded to the announcement of the lawsuit saying "it's tragic the mayor is less concerned with violence than he is with spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens". Chicago expected to receive $3.2 million this year, money the city says it needs to replace aging police vehicles. Dozens of local governments and cities, including NY and San Francisco, are part of the sanctuary movement.
The Justice Department has not commented on Chicago's planned legal action.
As Emanuel considers whether to run for a third term as mayor, he has repeatedly touted Chicago as a city of immigrants and said he was determined to protect them from attacks by Trump, who vowed during the campaign to deport all undocumented immigrants. Cook County, which also prohibits the Sheriff's Department from cooperating with immigration officers, is considering its "legal options going forward", Preckwinkle said.