With federal immigration policy undergoing increasing levels of instability, the city of Chicago has taken a pro-immigration stance by launching a new initiative, the One Chicago Campaign. One Chicago is a comprehensive campaign that aims to protect immigrants and the policies supported by sanctuary cities by emphasizing that any person in Chicago’s city limits is welcomed and protected, regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, background, religion, or sexual orientation. Established at the end of May, the campaign seeks to create a positive solution to emerging needs faced by the city’s refugee and immigrant populations. Its slogan reads, “Three million residents, three million stories, one Chicago,” highlighting the idea that Chicagoans are united in their diversity and stand together against new hostile developments in immigration policy.
In an emotional speech describing his grandfather’s story of immigrating to the United States, Mayor Rahm Emanuel made it clear that Chicago’s immigrants are welcome and embraced by the local government and its citizens. This comes in response to President Trump’s recently proposed executive order seeking funding cuts for sanctuary cities.
In order to advocate and provide for local immigrants and refugees, among many other services, the campaign is offering legal assistance, naturalization resources, and “Know Your Rights” seminars. These initiatives have been further expanded through a partnership with the National Immigration Justice Center, a group helping non-immigrant residents get involved and support immigrant communities.
One Chicago will include over 200 billboards, signs, and train banners, in addition to radio and TV representation through #ChicagoIsOne. Although some have questioned how the Trump administration will react, Mayor Emanuel stated he is unafraid of the potential backlash because he is confident that the campaign falls within both firm legal and moral grounds. He dismissed other concerns about the cost of the program by emphasizing that only city-owned spaces will be used for the campaign and all advertising will be done on a pro-bono basis.
Considering the large immigrant population in most U.S. metropolitan areas, many immigrants are hopeful that other cities will follow suit and take a strong stance against Trump’s anti-immigration policies, not only welcoming immigrants with open arms but providing them with the resources necessary to protect themselves. While no large-scale campaigns have started locally in DC, Stilwell & Slatton Immigration offers free Q&A sessions on immigration policy and legal developments, to ensure that local immigrants and their loved ones know their rights and are up-to-date on changing immigration policies. For more information on hosting a Q&A session, or any concerns generally, please contact Stilwell & Slatton Immigration.