After a federal judge blocked efforts by President Trump’s administration to block funding from so-called “sanctuary cities” on Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the decision, once again emphasizing his commitment to welcoming immigrants to the city of Chicago.
“The Trump administration’s attempt to coerce cities to choose between our most basic values and federal funding was not only bad public policy, we now have further proof that it was unconstitutional,” Emanuel said in a statement.
“The City of Chicago was proud to sign on to an amicus brief in support of an immediate injunction, and I commend Judge Orrick’s thoughtful decision to block enforcement of this illegal executive order.”
In two lawsuits, US District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco issued an injunction against an executive order Trump signed in January to block federal grants from “sanctuary cities.”
The term "sanctuary city" refers to jurisdictions that do not comply with federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants who have been arrested on charges unrelated to their immigration status and turn them over to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement for possible deportation.
The judge rejected the administration’s argument that the order applies only to a relatively small pot of money, saying the president has no authority set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.
“Throughout our history immigrants, refugees and dreamers from around the world have moved our country and our city forward, and we will not sit idly by while President Trump threatens American cities because he doesn't share our values,” Emanuel’s statement ends.
Emanuel has continually spoken out against the Trump administration’s attempts to enact more stringent immigration policies, as he reaffirmed that Chicago will remain a sanctuary city immediately after the executive action was signed, and joined a coalition of 34 cities and counties across the country asking a federal court to halt that order.
“It welcomed my grandfather 100 years ago, we continue to welcome entrepreneurs, immigrants, and I would just say think of it this way: Half the new businesses in Chicago and the state of Illinois come from immigrants, nearly half,” he added.
“Half the patents at the University of Illinois come from immigrants, and so we want to continue to welcome people, welcome their ideas, welcome their families to the city of Chicago, who want to build the American dream for their children and their grandchildren.”
Chicago receives more than $1 billion in federal funding for initiatives including transportation, housing, public health and law enforcement – an area in which Emanuel has repeatedly asked for more assistance in combatting the city’s violence.
The city is one of more than 200 jurisdictions that have declared sanctuary status, including New York City, Los Angeles and more.