December 6, 2016

Mayor Emanuel Joins Senator Durbin and Congressman Gutierrez in Launching the New "Chicago Is With You" Task Force

The Task Force will collaborate on mental health, legal services, diversity training for employers and education to ensure the comprehensive delivery of services to the immigrant, refugees and other disenfranchised communities

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Luis Gutierrez today in launching the new "Chicago is With You," task force. The Task Force will collaborate on mental health, legal services, diversity training for employers, and education to ensure the City is delivering comprehensive services to immigrant, refugees and other disenfranchised communities.

"There has been a tremendous show of support for Chicago's commitment to remaining a sanctuary city, with several organizations coming forward to pledge their knowledge and expertise toward this cause. The task force brings all of those resources together under a common goal to ensure we are delivering comprehensive services to these communities in need," said Mayor Emanuel.

"History will judge where we stood when families feared being ripped apart by deportation or turned away as they fled terrorism and violence around the world. I am proud to stand with these two Chicago leaders today," said Senator Durbin.

"At a time when the anti-immigrant rhetoric is at a fever pitch, Chicago is going to do everything we can to make sure that we keep families and communities safe while strengthening the economy and vitality of the city," said Congressman Gutierrez.

In addition to working on the four policy areas, the task force will also begin working to develop a website that will provide information about immigration resources and connect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) youth to Chicagoans who have volunteered to provide assistance.

The Task Force will be chaired by Mayor Emanuel, with Senator Durbin and Congressman Gutierrez serving as honorary co-chairs. Additional members include:

  • Alderman Pat Dowell,
  • Alderman Ameya Pawar,
  • Alderman Danny Solis,
  • Susanna Mendoza, Illinois Comptroller
  • Msgr. Michael M. Boland, Catholic Charities
  • Jorge Ramirez, Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL)
  • Evelyn Diaz, Heartland Alliance
  • Mona Noriega, Commission on Human Relations (CHR)
  • Juan Salgado, Instituto De Progreso Latino (IDPL),
  • Rebecca Shi, Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC),
  • Lawrence Benito, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR),
  • Sam Toia, Illinois Restaurant Association
  • Judy Levey, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA)
  • Kelly O'Brien, the Kennedy Forum
  • Colleen Cichetti, Lurie Children's Hospital,
  • Mary Meg McCarthy, National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC),
  • Raul Reymundo, the Resurrection Project (TRP),
  • Suzanne Akhras Sahloul, Syrian Community Network (SCN)
  • Angel Castillo, Unite Here
  • Jose Rico, United Way
  • Rev. Julian DeShazier, University Church Chicago

This announcement is the latest in a series of actions the Emanuel Administration has taken to remind all residents that they are welcome in the City of Chicago.

Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the creation of a Legal Protection Fund, pledging $1 million to start the fund that will integrate legal support from attorneys with community navigators rooted in Chicago's many ethnic communities to provide outreach, education and assistance to immigrant families across Chicago

The City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) Board of Trustees also adopted a resolution affirming the college system's status as a Welcoming Campus, which protects students from discrimination or harassment based on immigration status.

Since taking office, Mayor Emanuel has launched a series of initiatives that improve the immigrant community's access to service, expand new and existing immigrant businesses, and welcomes and celebrates Chicago's diverse immigrant communities. These initiatives include launching the Cities for Citizenship Campaign with the Mayors of New York City and Los Angeles, which has grown into a bipartisan effort which works with 30 City and county leaders across America.