Cook County and the City of Chicago have a long history of welcoming immigrants, who have made great cultural, economic and civic contributions to our city and county. While serving as Alderman in 1985, I supported Mayor Harold Washington’s executive order to make Chicago a welcoming city to immigrants and I favored subsequent efforts by the Cook County Board of Commissioners and Chicago City Council to pass and strengthen sanctuary ordinances.
As the President attacks and demonizes millions of immigrant families, Cook County and the City of Chicago must maintain and bolster their sanctuary protections. Our immigrant family members, friends and neighbors must be protected and supported, regardless of immigration status.
The President should clearly understand that city and county law enforcement agencies are not an extension of ICE. We cannot enforce or support draconian policies that tear families apart, further erode community trust in law enforcement, and cost city and county taxpayer dollars.
I commend those in Cook County and City of Chicago who are working to strengthen protections of immigrants. I urge Governor Rauner to denounce the President’s rhetoric and actions and to fight efforts by ICE to use State of Illinois resources. Illinois has always welcomed immigrants and the Governor should not turn his back on our fellow immigrant brothers and sisters. As with the budget impasse, this is another example of Governor Rauner’s failed leadership.