Chicagoans Push Mayor & Council to Expand Sanctuary Further in Defiance of Trump

 
January 26th, 2017

“It’s the efforts to defend Black lives and protect migrant rights that make our cities safer, not Trump’s extra enforcement promises.”

 

In the wake of Donald Trump’s attack on “sanctuary” cities, Black, Latinx, and migrant organizations are coming together to push Chicago to stand in defiance of the President, defend the constitution, and promote policies that offer real safety to all residents.

 

Rahm Emanuel has committed to keeping Chicago a sanctuary city, but residents assert that more is to be done to earn that title.

 

Janae E. Bonsu, National Public Policy Chair for the Black Youth Project explained, “Sanctuary – as the city of Chicago had defined it – doesn’t go far enough. Until the mayor and city council shows a real commitment to ending the criminalization of Black and Latinx people in policy and practice, sanctuary will remain an empty word to our people.”

Tania Unzueta, Legal and Policy Director for Mijente added, “Sanctuary in Chicago today means a commitment not just to symbolically defy Trump but to actually transform our city’s policies to stop targeting us for imprisonment, risk of removal, and state violence at the hands of police and aggressive immigration agents.”

Antonio Gutierrez, an organizer with Organized Communities Against Deportations added, “All Chicago residents deserve the right to feel safe in our homes and in our neighborhoods.”

At the press event, the group proposed concrete, proactive steps that reduce the arrests and policing that endanger communities and place immigrant in Chicagoans in deportation proceedings. Those include:

 

  • The decriminalization and alternative processing of crimes of survival, DUIs disproportionately policed in Black and Latinx neighborhoods, incidents at schools, drug related offenses, and more.
  • Elimination of the flawed gang database
  • Reallocation of city resources from law enforcement to community institutions that provide long-term safety such as schools, clinics, and hospitals
  • Amendments to the Welcoming City ordinance to prevent collusion with federal deportation agents

 

Supporting organizations include: Organized Communities Against Deportations, BYP 100, Mijente, and Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago, National Immigrant Justice Center
Around the country, groups are making similar proposals to mayors at bit.ly/expand-sanctuary
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