Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was once the Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, held a press conference on Monday to publicly declare he will defy any deportation orders possibly given by President-elect Donald Trump.
He went on to say that Chicago will always be a “sanctuary city.”
Chicago has laws on their books that prohibit government workers, police officers, and other city officials from asking residents about their immigration status.
“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,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Chicago will always be a sanctuary city.”
He made his statement one night after President-Elect Trump re-iterated his focus on deporting illegal immigrants in a “60 Minutes” interview. Trump focused on illegals with criminal records, those who are gang members, and those who are drug dealers.
While I know Mayor Emanuel was taking his stand not only for what he thought is a good cause, I still can’t get past his key line from his press conference.
While telling illegal immigrants in his city that they are supported and secure in Chicago, he also said they were “safe.”
According to an actual Chicago Tribune website that is tracking homicides, his city has experienced 674 homicides to date in 2016.
That’s already 182 more homicides than in all of 2015 and the year isn’t over yet.
We’re only two weeks into November and there have already been 35 homicides, which is one less in all of November 2015. There were 74 lives taken in October.
A total of 273 lives have been lost since August.
The tracking website is http://crime.chicagotribune.com/chicago/homicides.
While I know his intent was in relation to the immigrant status in staying in the U.S., I also think Mayor Emanuel should have used a word other than “safe.”
An article was written in late September noting the 3,000 shootings and 500 homicides at that time in 2016 and how Mayor Emanuel was finally showing signs of trying to acknowledge and change what is happening in the great city of Chicago.
Those living there point to a need of more police officers patrolling the streets, which could also be mentors for young people to help in deterring crime.
There’s also a need for jobs among black men, which was one issue President-elect Trump spoke out about during some of his rallies in places like Detroit, Michigan.
Mayor Emanuel has just started to push a three-point plan of more cops, a push for jobs, and more mentors.
I don’t know why it has taken so long for leadership to take charge there.
I have thought about visiting Chicago for the first time in recent years but with the crime epidemic, I personally have no desire to make the trip.
I’m sure I’m not the only one this close to Chicago thinking the same way.
Perhaps some day, others like myself will feel it is “safe” to visit Chicago.