CITY HALL — Three aldermen have joined more than a dozen local agencies to follow through on the mayor's call to "make Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the United States."
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) announced the formation of the Immigration Working Group at City Hall Tuesday, joined by Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th).
Ramirez-Rosa cited Mayor Rahm Emanuel's call two years ago for "making Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the United States."
"We share that commitment," Ramirez-Rosa added, "and we're excited to get to work alongside the mayor to fulfill that goal."
Emanuel has frequently called Chicago "the most immigrant-friendly city in the United States," and two years ago took part in a 24-hour fast in support of federal immigration reform.
The Immigration Working Group comprises three aldermen, including Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd), and 14 local agencies advocating for immigrants.
Together, they announced a six-part "comprehensive immigration plan" for the city on Tuesday. It would:
- increase support for free or low-cost legal advice;
- review city ordinances and policies about the Police Department not sharing information with federal immigration officials, and unify policy with Cook County;
- improve foreign-language access to city services;
- create a city ID program;
- support grants and low-interest loans;
- and call for the city to address immigrant issues on crime, domestic violence and labor abuses.
According to Ramirez-Rosa, the group met with Emanuel administration officials last week and are trying to convert the proposals into new city ordinances.
"Since taking office, Mayor Emanuel has been committed to finding new ways to make our city more immigrant-friendly, and welcomes the opportunity to work with this group on each of the six initiatives outlined," said Adolfo Hernandez, deputy director of the Mayor's Office of Public Engagement.
"We're workshopping these ordinances," Ramirez-Rosa said. "We're gonna put price tags on them, and then we're gonna find ways to pay for them."
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