AMENDMENT TO WELCOMING CITY ORDINANCE Unanimously PASSES COMMITTEE
The amendment, which will make Chicago a safer city for immigrants, will face full City Council vote on October 5
CHICAGO – Today, an amendment to Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance passed out of the Human Relations Committee. The amendment, which will make Chicago a safer city for immigrants, will face a full City Council vote on October 5. The Amendment has been supported by the Chicago Municipal Immigration Policy Working Group (members listed below), and sponsored by Ald. Scott Waguespack, Ald. Ameya Pawar, and Ald. Carlos Ramirez Rosa.
“With the support of immigrant rights organizations across the city, we believe that this effort to strengthen the Welcoming City Ordinance when applied in conjunction with the new police accountability measures will foster stronger community relations not just for the Asian American community but for immigrant communities across the city,” said Debbie Liu of Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community in testimony before the Committee.
The proposed amendment to the Welcoming City Ordinance will prohibit all city employees, including Chicago Police officers, from questioning an individual’s immigration status threatening deportation. The amendment also re-defines coercion and verbal abuse to include verbal threats and to bar city employees from compelling a person to make statements.
“It is time that the ordinance includes prohibiting threats of deportation and takes verbal threats from police officers seriously,” testified Rosi Carrasco of Organized Communities Against Deportations. “The City has the power to reject our participation in the unjust separation and targeting of Chicago’s immigrant families.”
However, there is still more work to be done. Carrasco continued: “Even with the passage of this amendment, there are undocumented people, some members of my community and organization, who remain excluded from these protections.” The groups will continue working with members of the City Council to address these changes in the future.
Chicago Municipal Immigration Policy Working Group, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Organized Communities Against Deportations, Southwest Organizing Project, the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, Chicago Community and Worker’s Rights, the Chicago Religious Leadership Network, Comité de Trabajadores Unidos – Immigrant Workers Project, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Latino Union of Chicago, Enlace Chicago, and others.