Chicago aldermen and immigrant advocates unveiled legislation Monday aimed at strengthening protections for immigrants living in the city.
Members of the city council's Asian American, Latino and Progressive Reform Caucuses are among the aldermen backing the proposal to amend Chicago's "Welcoming City Ordinance."
The amendment makes three key changes. Among them, police officers and other city employees would be prohibited from "threatening deportation or questioning an individual's immigration status," according to a fact sheet about the proposal.
Other changes include:
- Redefining remarks and threats based on individuals' citizenship or immigration status as 'verbal abuse' or 'coercion' depending on facts
- Expanded protection to more immigrants in the city of Chicago by updating language that is archaic and inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the Welcoming City Ordinance.
The amendment has the support of groups such as Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Organized Communities Against Deportations, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the National Immigrant Justice Center, to name a few.
" In the presidential race, there is a national attack against immigrant, refugee, and Muslim communities. The immigrant community also suffered a recent setback with the decision to strike down Obama's executive action that would have protected 6 million residents from deportation," reads a media release from the advocacy groups. "This is a crisis situation for immigrants all over the U.S. The city of Chicago has an opportunity to stand up against the anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric by strengthening the protection offered to immigrants in Chicago at the upcoming city council meeting on July 20th."