Mayor Emanuel Introduces Amendment to Strengthen Welcoming City Ordinance

September 14, 2016

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today introduced an amendment to Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance, which builds on efforts to make Chicago the most immigrant-friendly City in the country. The amendment adds a new section that mandates City employees treat documented and undocumented immigrants with respect and dignity.

“While Washington continues to fail to act on comprehensive immigration reform, Chicago has worked to make our city the most immigrant friendly in the country,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This proposal will help to ensure that immigrants from across the globe continue to view Chicago as a great place to settle and make better lives for themselves and their families.”

To further enhance the City’s relationship with immigrant communities, this amendment clarifies that both documented and undocumented immigrants be treated with respect and dignity by all City employees and should not be subjected to physical abuse, threats or intimidation. Allegations of violations of this provision will be investigated by the Inspector General, or, if the allegation is against a member of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the Independent Police Review Authority or any successor independent police review agency.

Mayor Emanuel first introduced the Welcoming City Ordinance in July 2012 to build on an existing ordinance and longtime City policy that prohibits agencies from inquiring about the immigration status of people seeking City services, and provides that CPD will not question crime victims, witnesses and other law-abiding residents about their legal status. This ordinance passed in July 2013, expanding existing policy to provide that undocumented Chicagoans will only be detained under certain very limited circumstances, such as if they have been convicted of a serious crime and remain in the United States illegally.

Since the creation of the Office of New Americans (ONA), the City has strengthened support for immigrant communities, entrepreneurs and businesses.


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