HYDE PARK — Mayor Rahm Emanuel Friday called on President Donald Trump to drop plans to end legal protections for young undocumented immigrants known as "Dreamers," established by President Barack Obama.
"I would say this to President Trump — not that he will listen to me: 'You need to spend less time tearing down President Obama’s agenda and building your own,' " Emanuel said at an unrelated event at the DuSable Museum in Washington Park.
At Trump Tower in New York City in December, in his first meeting with then President-elect Trump after the election, Emanuel gave Trump a letter signed by 14 mayors from across the country urging him to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which city officials have said will harm the city's economy.
The city's web site refers to a study by the progressive think tank the Center for American Progress concluding that ending DACA would force 36,867 Illinois out the state economy at a annual cost of $2.2 billion from the national Gross Domestic Product.
"Chicago will always be a welcoming city," Emanuel said, adding that the city will continue to offer free tuition at the City Colleges of Chicago to any graduate of the Chicago Public Schools with a B average.
Emanuel has repeatedly clashed with Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on issues related to immigration.
Emanuel said it was unconscionable for the Trump administration to consider "going after" people who were brought here as children without permission by their parents.
Speaking to reporters in from the Oval Office, the president said he would announce a decision on the program's fate before Tuesday, the deadline set by 10 states which have threatened to sue the federal government over the program.
Through March, approximately 787,580 received permits to live and work in the United States as part of the DACA program since it was established in 2012.
According to the Center for American Progress, ending DACA would result in a loss of $460.3 billion from the national Gross Domestic Product during the next decade and force an estimated 685,000 workers out of the nation’s economy.