Attorney General Jeff Sessions hunkered down on his threat to halt funding to what are being called “sanctuary cities” in response to the city’s controversial policies regarding treatment of immigrants.
Defiantly, Mayor Rahm Emanuel responded by reiterating his promise to “continue to welcome” immigrants to Chicago, despite the Attorney General’s threats to block federal money for law enforcement.
“I’ve always seen Chicago as a welcoming city,” Emanuel said in an interview. “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.”
The Mayor was reacting to Sessions’ announcement that he would order the Department of Justice to make the receiving of federal grants conditional on compliance with immigration law. This statement reinforces the executive order on sanctuary cities that newly elected President Donald Trump signed back in January.