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Welcoming City Protections Bolstered For Undocumented Immigrants

By Ted Cox | October 5, 2016 4:03pm
 Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the strengthening of Chicago's Welcoming City Ordinance.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the strengthening of Chicago's Welcoming City Ordinance.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CITY HALL — Chicago has been an official Welcoming City for three years, and now it's even more welcoming for undocumented immigrants.

The City Council approved an ordinance amendment on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's original 2013 Welcoming City law Wednesday that strengthens protections for the undocumented, especially where police are concerned.

Passed last month by the Human Relations Committee, the new law bans "police officers and other city employees" from making threats to reveal illegal status to federal immigration officials, and also outlaws verbal abuse aimed at undocumented immigrants based on their race, citizenship or country of origin.

"While Washington continues to fail to act on comprehensive immigration reform, Chicago has worked to make our city the most immigrant-friendly in the country,” Emanuel said. “This proposal will help to ensure that immigrants from across the globe continue to view Chicago as a great place to settle and make better lives for themselves and their families."

Aldermen Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Danny Solis (25th), Edward Burke (14th), Ameya Pawar (47th), Ariel Reboyras (30th) and Scott Waguespack (32nd) joined the mayor as lead sponsors of the measure, which cleared the full Council Wednesday without opposition.

The Council also signed off on a proposal calling for combat medical kits to be distributed to police officers who've been trained in their use.

The kits, priced from $100-$115, include a blood-clotting gauze as well as a tourniquet that's proved highly effective in treating arm and leg wounds.

Lead sponsor Burke cited how the gauze saved the life of a 24-year-old man shot in South Chicago this summer when he was treated with it by two U.S. military veterans who are now police officers.

Burke's resolution passed Wednesday without additional debate by a unanimous 47-0 vote.

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