The Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, has announced in response to President Trump’s decision on DACA, that his city will continue to welcome Dreamers and that Chicago will be a “Trump-Free Zone.”
The contentious mayor, who formerly served under Barack Obama as Chief of Staff, has been much in the press recently for his opposition to the president, and more specifically his policies towards Sanctuary Cities.
The Mayor said:
“To all the Dreamers that are here in this room, and in the city of Chicago, you are welcomed in the city of Chicago. This is your home and you have nothing to worry about,” and “Chicago, our schools, our neighborhoods, our city, as it relates to what President Trump said, will be a Trump-free zone. You have nothing to worry about.”
“So, to all those who are part of what are referred to as DACA, or ‘Dreamers’, you will always be ‘Dreamers’ in the eyes of the city of Chicago because you have big dreams and we want to be a part of those dreams,” Emanuel concluded.
The idea that a mayor can declare a region a president-free zone has not gone down well. The President represents the government, and stating that “the government” will not be allowed to enact Federal policy is seen by many as a “step too far.”
According to the Fiscal Times:
“The state was responsible for a record backlog of unpaid bills totaling $14.7 billion, causing fear among programs and local agencies dependent on state aid. State legislators also failed to approve a stand-alone kindergarten through 12th-grade education budget that was vital to the operations of the financially struggling Chicago school system, Reuters reported. A $15.7 billion bill to ensure schools open in the fall passed the Senate but was soundly defeated in the House.”
Economists have suggested that it might be in Illinois’ best interests to actually declare themselves bankrupt and rely on the Federal government to sort out the mess.
Added to the fact that Chicago has seen the largest population loss in the United States for the second year in a row, their ability to raise enough taxes to fund all programs AND pay the bills seems unlikely. Many of the people leaving cite an unfriendly and unfair tax system that places priority on Sanctuary City beneficiaries.
Critics of the Chicago leadership, and Rahm Emanuel in particular, point to failed policies that do not put “Americans First.”
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.