CHICAGO (CBS) — The Trump Administration is tying Chicago’s high murder rate to its sanctuary city status and blaming Mayor Rahm Emanuel for putting politics ahead of safety.

“For the sake of the city, Chicago’s leaders need to recommit to policies that punish criminals instead of protecting them,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The strong words come one week after the City of Chicago sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions in federal court.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez has more on the battle.

“They openly say we welcome you,” but in a city with 433 murders since the start of the year, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Chicago’s sanctuary status gives criminals a pass.

“Respect for the rule of law has broken down. In Chicago, their so-called sanctuary policies are just one sad example,” he said.

Sessions did not offer any statistics tying Chicago murders to illegal citizens, just examples, like that of an illegal alien convicted of domestic battery.

“After his release, the same alien murdered a 15-year-old girl and shot her mother. She could be alive if Chicago leadership had prioritized her safety over politics,” Sessions said.

Mayor Emanuel, who just last week sued the Justice Department for holding up federal grant money, responded by citing the white supremacist violence over the weekend and calling this a bad time to attack immigrants.

“Chicago will continue to stand up proudly as a welcoming city and we will not cave to the Trump Administration’s pressure because they are wrong morally, wrong factually and wrong legally,” Emanuel said.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson also weighed in tonight saying something he’s said before, “undocumented immigrants are not driving violence in Chicago and that’s why I want our officers focused on community policing and not trying to be the immigration police.”

Speaking from Miami, Sessions compared a July Fourth weekend in Chicago in which 100 were shot and 15 killed to Miami which he said also had a historic number of shooting deaths that weekend – zero.