- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 3, 2016

Chicago will use $1 million leftover from a tax rebate program to defend immigrants there from any deportation efforts undertaken by President-elect Donald Trump, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office said Friday.

“Chicago has a proud history of diversity and inclusion, and my administration will do everything in our power to ensure that immigrants remain safe, secure and supported,” Mr. Emanuel, a Democrat, said in a statement Friday. “Because the election has created anxiety and uncertainty, we’ve created a legal fund to help ensure immigrants and refugees have access to legal guidance,” the statement said.

In partnership with the National Immigrant Protection Center, the mayor’s office said the fund will initially be bankrolled with money that had been set aside for a property tax rebate program. City Hall had reserved $20 million to be allocated to eligible homeowners, but nearly $19 million remained unclaimed this week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Roughly 150,000 individuals living in or around the Windy City lack legal permanent resident status, according to the National Immigrant Justice Center.

With Mr. Trump having threatened to deport potentially millions of illegal immigrants upon taking office, Mr. Emanuel’s office said the center will be able to provide legal consultations and representation to approximately 3,000 residents using the newly established legal protection fund.

Shortly after Mr. Trump was elected last month, Mr. Emanuel, a former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, vowed to protect Chicagoland residents against deportation by the future president.

“To all those who are, after Tuesday’s election, very nervous and filled with anxiety as we’ve spoken to, you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago and you are supported in Chicago,” Mr. Emanuel last month. “Chicago will always be a sanctuary city.”

Speaking at a high school in Chicago on Friday, Mr. Emanuel said the Windy City was “putting our money where our mouth is.”

“I want them to know that the city of Chicago — your children, you and your family — are safe, secure and supported. And we’re gonna put resources to ensuring that you’re safe, secure and supported. It builds on all of the other things we’ve done as a welcoming city,” he said according to Sun-Times.

Mr. Trump has promised to sever federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities within 100 days of taking office.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide