The city of Chicago moved forward to protect illegal immigrants through their municipal identification program in an effort to stifle the federal government’s move to crack down on sanctuary cities.
The Chicago Sun Times reports Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Clerk Anna Valencia took measures Wednesday to prevent sensitive information on Chicago’s municipal IDs form being used against illegal immigrants who live in the city.
Similar to the municipal IDs New York Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed in New York City, the identification card enables illegal immigrants to access Chicago’s city services.
According to The Sun Times, Emanuel and Valencia wanted to put out assurances that the city will only inquire about applicants about immigration status. Additionally, the city will not keep copies of applicants’ personal information.
“It’s going to capture just the name and the date of birth. It’s not going to capture an address,” a source familiar with the program told The Sun Times.
“Applicants will also be able to self-designate their gender, which will be huge to the transgender and LGBTQ community. And it’s not just for undocumented individuals. It’s for people with disabilities and people who are homeless or victims of domestic violence” who will be able to select an alternative address, the source added.
The source continued, “In the San Francisco model, applicants bring in the documents to prove someone’s identify. They hand them over to specially trained individual who can review the documents and then hand them back,” the source said. “In New York right now, they are retaining the address. We’re not going to retain any of that information that’s handed to us regarding the address.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Department of Justice would withhold federal funds from municipalities that defy federal immigration law.
“Fundamentally, we intend to use all the lawful authority we have to make sure that our state and local officials, who are so important to law enforcement, are in sync with the federal government,” Sessions said.
He later added, “Countless Americans would be alive today and countless loved ones would not be grieving today if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended.”
Emanuel vowed that Chicago would remain a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants despite Sessions’s threat.
“I’ve always seen Chicago as a welcoming city,” Emanuel said in an interview with NBC Monday.