Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city will "stay a sanctuary city" after President Donald Trump signed an executive action to block federal grants from such cities.
"You are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American dream," Emanuel said Wednesday, noting that he had not yet seen details on the executive action.
Trump moved aggressively to tighten the nation's immigration policies Wednesday, signing executive actions to jumpstart construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall and block federal grants from immigrant-protecting "sanctuary cities."
"We've been talking about this right from the beginning," Trump said during a brief signing ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security.
Later in the week, Trump is expected to sign orders restricting the flow of refugees into the United States.
The Chicago City Council approved a symbolic resolution Wednesday that looks to protect and honor all city residents regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, criminal record, sexual orientation and gender identity.
The non-binding resolution was drafted as a response to a “national political climate” that has “produced fear and anxiety among many City of Chicago residents, particularly among people of color, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, and members of the LGBT community."
Ald. Ameya Pawar, a co-sponsor on the bill, claimed he was worried about Trump’s expected executive order that would temporarily ban certain Muslim refugees from entering the U.S. Pawar, the first Democrat to declare his candidacy in the 2018 gubernatorial race, also voiced concerns about Trump’s proposed Mexican border wall.
The alderman claimed this was a “scary time,” noting that Trump has behaved like a “child” and a “despot.”
A handful of aldermen spoke out Wednesday against the president, who vowed Tuesday to send “the Feds” to Chicago if the city fails to address its violent crime crisis.
“If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage' going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds,” Trump tweeted.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Ald. Emma Mitts pledged her support for the resolution, but pointed to continued discrimination in the African American community.
In a report released earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice outlined a pattern of civil rights violations by the Chicago Police Department. The report found the CPD violated constitutional rights by engaging in a “pattern or practice of use of excessive force."
“We can talk about all other issues, but don’t miss that issue of how black folks have been treated in this country,” Mitts said.
Following Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Emanuel said Chicago wants to harness a close relationship with federal law enforcement agencies.
“I would welcome, always have welcomed, federal participation in working with local law enforcement to dealing with guns and gangs,” Emanuel told reporters.
The mayor also pushed for additional federal resources for police, technology, summer jobs and after-school programs.