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ChiTalk – Chicago as a Sanctuary City

ChiTalk – Chicago as a Sanctuary City

This week on our online-street interview series “ChiTalk” we discussed the idea of Chicago remaining a “sanctuary city,” what it means to the people who live here and why or why don’t they support it. The topic of Chicago being a sanctuary city is a pretty controversial one these days. Being a sanctuary city has allowed many immigrants who live here to feel safe and not threatened by deportation and federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).   Trump is a huge ICE supporter and believes that all sanctuary cities should stop and federal funding should be withdrawn from each one.

Rahm Emanuel has doubled down on keeping Chicago a sanctuary city and has sued the Department of Justice over the threat of pulling funding, claiming it’s illegal to withhold public-safety grant money from cities like Chicago and sanctuary states like California. Chicago is counting on $3.2 million from the program, money mostly used to buy police vehicles, according to the city. Being a sanctuary state doesn’t allow criminals to live among us like some people might suggest. It only restricts ICE and federal agencies from knocking on someone’s door and questioning their immigration status. Persons of interest and those that have criminal backgrounds aren’t “safe” under sanctuary laws.

Chicago News: A Sanctuary City is defined as a city that limits its cooperation with the national government effort to enforce immigration law. Currently Chicago is a sanctuary city, but the federal government is threatening to pull funding if we don’t adhere to allowing some federal agencies to get involved in immigration in the city. What are your feelings on Chicago remaining a sanctuary city?

Scott: I think it’s super important first of all to just send a message that whatever the deportation laws are now at the federal level, that there are specific areas or a more broader scale when more and more cities are saying that they’re sanctuary cities. I think that’s a really cool message to send to folks that are maybe in danger of being deported. More than anything it’s definitely sending a message to a lot of people and I think that’s really cool and important.

Brett: I believe it’s a good thing (to remain a sanctuary city). While I don’t have a lot of good things to say about Rahm Emanuel, but yeah this is something I can certainly support. As far as I’m concerned everybody ought to be welcomed here.

Jenna: I think that it’s really important for Chicago to be open and progressive and open to all kinds of people. That’s what makes Chicago great. Some things that Rahm Emanuel does can be troublesome. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he stands for, but I think the main idea behind his motivation is certainly a good thing. To keep Chicago open to as many people who want to come here. As long as they’re safe, they follow the law and they don’t hurt anybody, I don’t think anybody’s status as an immigrant illegal or legal should be threatened.