Chicago mayor declares city ‘Trump-free zone’ after US President declares he will scrap DACA immigration programme

‘This is your home and you have nothing to worry about,’ says Rahm Emmanuel


Chicago’s Mayor has declared the city a “Trump-free zone”, after the US president ended protection for the children of undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers”.

Introduced by former president Barack Obama, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy prevented nearly 800,000 people who came to the US as children from being deported.

Earlier this week Donald Trump rescinded the programme. While existing recipients will see no impact for at least six months, no new applications can now be made.

But in a speech to young DACA recipients at Chicago’s Solorio Academy High School, mayor Rahm Emmanuel said: “To all the Dreamers that are here in this room and the city of Chicago: you are welcome in the city of Chicago. This is your home and you have nothing to worry about.”

He added: “Chicago, our schools, our neighborhoods, our city, as it relates to what President Trump said, will be a Trump-free zone. You have nothing to worry about. And I want you to know this, and I want your families to know this. And rest assured, I want you to come to school … and pursue your dreams.”

The DACA programme, announced by Mr Obama in 2012, offers renewable protection from deportation for two years to people who entered the United States before the age of 16.

Recipients must have lived in America continuously since 2007 and must not have a criminal record.

Mr Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision to scrap the DACA programme, calling it an “open-ended circumvention of immigration laws” and an unconstitutional use of executive authority.

“The programme known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,” said Mr Sessions, who has long opposed the programme.

He added that “the policy was implemented unilaterally, to great controversy and legal concern.”

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