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Photograph: CC/Flickr/Daniel X. O'Neil

Mayor Emanuel issues Rauner a ‘call to action’ on immigration policy

Written by
Jonathan Samples

Last month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced a resolution that, among other things, calls on Governor Bruce Rauner to endorse Chicago’s status as a sanctuary city and take several additional actions to support immigrant rights in Illinois. Chicago City Clerk and newly sworn-in state Comptroller Susana Mendoza, along with 35 aldermen, joined the mayor in sponsoring the resolution, which passed through the city’s committee on human relations on Monday.

The resolution is a direct response to President-elect Donald Trump's threats to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and strip federal funding from cities that have policies in place to protect people from deportation. In the resolution, Emanuel asks Rauner to condemn any attempt to strip Chicago of federal funding and speak at a special Chicago City Council meeting that would focus exclusively on the incoming president’s plans for so-called "welcoming cities."

“While other communities that welcome and protect immigrants, such as Los Angeles and New York City, have issued similar statements with steadfast support from their governors, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has yet to issue a statement regarding President-elect Trump's plan to strip federal funding from Chicago...,” the resolution states.

The document makes several additional “requests” of the governor, including:

  • Engage in dialogue on immigration policy that helps develop and promote policies that protect immigrants throughout the state.
  • Actively support policies proposed by immigrant rights advocates.
  • Partner with the governors of New York and California, as well as other elected officials from welcoming cities, to meet with the president-elect.
  • Issue a statement of support for cities that welcome undocumented immigrants.
  • Condemn any attempt to strip Chicago of federal funding. 

In a statement to the Chicago Tribune, a Rauner spokeswoman didn't respond to the resolution's specific requests, saying instead that the governor supports immigration reform.

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