As Mayor, how will you use your influence with Members of Congress to advance immigration reform at the federal level? What specific tactics will you employ?

Immigration

I have worked closely with Congressman Luis Gutierrez to ensure that our city becomes the national gold standard in helping as many people as possible in taking advantage of the President’s executive actions on immigration. While we support the President’s Administrative Relief, only Congress can finish the job. We will continue to join the overwhelming majority of the American people in pushing Congress on comprehensive immigration reform because it is consistent with our values as a city that has always welcomed and benefited from the contributions of immigrants. Since taking office, I have strengthened our Welcoming City Ordinance, and I have also worked to bring important immigration reforms at the State level by advocating for the IL DREAM Act and for legislation that now allows undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license in Illinois. I have also implemented the CPS IL DREAM Act Counselor Training and personally raised over $275,000 in private donations for the IL DREAM Fund, so as to ease the path to higher education for undocumented youth. I will continue to push Congress for bipartisan action on immigration reform while we develop and implement immigrant integration initiatives and policies that benefit all Chicagoans, regardless of immigration status.

Chicago is a world-class city. As mayor, I am able to use that platform to speak strongly in favor of any and all federal level reforms that advance the agenda for integration into society. As a city, I have touted my support for measures that help immigrants obtain information and resources necessary to thrive in the city. I also believe in the preservation of families and support legislation that is aligned with this belief. I will stand with the immigrants rights community to advance both a city-wide and national immigration agenda.

Immigration is an issue that local elected officials must lead on. I support a national immigration reform that guarantees immigrants the basic rights they need on the job, and in schools; and creates a path to citizenship. That’s why as County Commissioner I led the passage of a bill that protected the County from liability while preventing the unconstitutional detention of immigrants. I was proud to be a part of Harold Washington’s legacy in making Chicago one of the original sanctuary cities. Local governments may be an unlikely place for taking on national issues, but international cities like Chicago are up for it. As Mayor, I would support the advancement of comprehensive immigration reform by making Chicago a real example of immigrant protection, integration, and support. I would also continue to work closely with immigrant advocacy organizations, elected officials, and community members to defend the recent gains, and continue to work to secure the human and civil rights of all immigrants.

I support President Obama’s Executive Action which makes it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to remain in the U.S. and contribute to our economy. I would direct the Chicago Superintendent of Police to further train all officers to ensure that no one violates the rule or concept, but instead operates in a manner consistent with the spirit of the Executive Action. Chicago police will be instructed that no Chicago resident, or person within our jurisdiction, shall be subject to any scrutiny of the type reserved for Immigrations Customs Enforcement Agents. Under my administration, all persons will be afforded equal service and equal protection under the law.

I believe offering our support, and the City of Chicago’s support, for appropriate immigration reform on the federal level is important. In light of President Obama’s recent changes to immigration we should work to make Chicago a welcoming city.