The White House’s decision to rescind former President Obama’s Executive Order DACA program has been met with heated opposition from the Democrat Party, with some calling for a court challenge to the action, and others preparing legislation to grant amnesty to DACA recipients.
One of the most prominent voices to issue criticism of Trump’s decision is Chicago’s Democrat Mayor Rahm Emanuel. According to the Washington Examiner, Emanuel declared Chicago a “Trump-free zone” and publicly gave “Dreamers” the city’s support.
Emanuel held an address to directly counter the Trump administration’s announcement ending DACA. The Chicago mayor insinuated he would not cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the deportation of DACA beneficiaries.
“To all the Dreamers that are here in this room, and in the city of Chicago, you are welcomed in the city of Chicago. This is your home and you have nothing to worry about,” Emanuel told a room full of DACA beneficiaries.
Emanuel went on to say: “Chicago, our schools, our neighborhoods, our city, as it relates to what President Trump said, will be a Trump-free zone. You have nothing to worry about.” The statement suggested to some observers that Emanuel was “banning” Trump from the city.
As Fox News reports, the Chicago mayor also announced that DACA beneficiaries would qualify for a city program through which high school students with at least a “B” grade average can attend community college at taxpayers’ expense.
Emanuel’s assurances that DACA recipients “have nothing to worry about” seems to suggest that the mayor would not cooperate with the efforts of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to remove illegal aliens.
According to NBC News, Chicago is a sanctuary city, meaning it openly defies federal immigration authorities. Emanuel previously criticized Trump’s Department of Justice for moving to cut federal law enforcement funds to sanctuary cities, including Chicago.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired back at Emanuel, saying that Chicago and other sanctuary cities are a “trafficker, smuggler, or predator’s best friend.” Sessions further said, “Respect for the rule of law has broken down. In Chicago, their so-called ‘sanctuary’ policies are just one sad example.” Getting Democrat cities to cooperate with ICE has been a major area of focus for Sessions and the DOJ.
As Breitbart notes, the current Department of Justice has fought to allow ICE officers enter prisons in sanctuary cities to deport criminal aliens. It has also campaigned to make cities notify ICE before releasing incarcerated undocumented immigrants back on the streets. As the Miami Herald reports, cities like Miami have changed course and cooperated with immigration officials.
Chicago mayor declares city a “Trump-free zone.” Should it then also be a “federal-fund-free”zone?
Emanuel has not relented in maintaining Chicago’s sanctuary city status. And he’s far from the only Democrat opposing Trump’s decision on DACA. On Twitter, Bernie Sanders (D-VT) said ending DACA is “the ugliest and most cruel decision ever made by a president of the U.S. in the modern history of this country.”
Trump’s decision on DACA is the ugliest and most cruel decision ever made by a president of the U.S. in the modern history of this country. pic.twitter.com/3k64uuo2XM
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 5, 2017
Even some Republican lawmakers voiced opposition to the move. As The Hill reports, McCain called Trump’s move “the wrong approach”–even though he voted against the DREAM Act and criticized the DACA Executive Order at the time Obama signed it.
Any new immigration policies must come out of Congress, which will be another challenge considering the political divide on pathways to citizenship and amnesty.