As the main sponsor of the first County Sanctuary Ordinance in the nation--which I championed in 2007 when I served as a Cook County Commissioner--I am proud to join the Mayor in establishing this fund to, once again, protect our undocumented residents from threats of deportation.
The County Sanctuary Ordinance – known as “The Fair and Equal County for Immigrants” ordinance (07-R-240)– was passed in 2007 and provided access to all County services to every resident of Cook County regardless of their immigration status. It also prohibited the Cook County Sheriff’s Office from assisting in the investigation of citizenship or immigration status.
A year later, the City of Chicago passed a “Welcoming City” ordinance. Both of these ordinances were passed during a time of deep national divide over immigrant rights, and, yet these local laws represented the need to treat our immigrant population with dignity and respect and to bring them out of the shadows.
Now, here we are, 15 years later, facing the same issue in an atmosphere of fear and anxiety created by President-elect Trump. I am proud to unite with the Mayor and the Chicago City Council to provide this legal defense fund for our undocumented immigrants to access legal information, screening, and consultations.
Cook County and Chicago have created legislation at the local level that the federal government has never been able to achieve and we must continue to treat our undocumented residents fairly and equally for the greater health of our communities and our nation.