Chicago’s status as a sanctuary city dates back to 1985, when former Mayor Harold Washington issued an executive order prohibiting city employees from enforcing federal immigration laws.
It became law in 2006, reaffirmed after the 2016 election of former President Donald Trump and expanded in 2021. Now, more than thousands of migrants have been bused or sent by plane to Chicago by Texas’ governor amid an ongoing border crisis.
This comes as President Joe Biden’s administration has taken on stricter asylum policies making it difficult for migrants to win asylum in the U.S. following the end of pandemic-era policy Title 42.e
On Monday, WTTW News reporter Joanna Hernandez moderated the latest edition of our “Latino Voices” community conversations and discussed with community leaders what being a sanctuary city to immigrants really means beyond law enforcement implications and what challenges migrants face upon integrating into a new community.
Hernandez was joined by Linda Brito, senior organizer at Centro de Trabajadores Unidos on the Southeast Side; Anabel Mendoza, media relations specialist at Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights; and Miguel Keberlein, executive director of the Legal Aid Society whose work integrates legal aid into the holistic support offered by Metropolitan Family Services.