On Wednesday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with 14 other states in a lawsuit to block Trump’s decision to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects children of undocumented immigrants. But not everyone in Springfield agrees with her decision.
According to the Sun Times, Illinois’s Republican governor Bruce Rauner, responded to the suit with a statement that he believes “comprehensive immigration reform should be addressed through Congress, and not on a state-by-state basis.”
Madigan joined the suit after saying that ending the program “is fundamentally unfair, hurts our state economy and violates the law. … These are Americans in every way but their birthright. For centuries, our country has benefited from immigrants who came here and worked hard for a better life. Rescinding DACA is contrary to what makes our country prosper.”
Locally, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been very vocal about his stance with regards to DACA and to Dreamers, the name given to children who take part in the program
“To all the Dreamers that are here in this room and the city of Chicago: you are welcome in the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said on Wednesday. “This is your home and you have nothing to worry about…Chicago, our schools, our neighborhoods, our city, as it relates to what President Trump said, will be a Trump-free zone.”
Emanuel, a constant challenger to Rauner’s politics, has pushed for the governor to establish an Illinois Bill of Rights with respect to undocumented immigrants. But Rauner has held strong on his perspective of national policy.
Emanuel shot back at Rauner’s position. “You are the governor [where] 42,000 young men and women call your state their home. Will you use the power and tools as the governor to protect them from a careless act by the president of the United States to threaten the very things they know and have only known their whole lives?”
DACA was established in June 2012 and approximately 800,000 people are currently enrolled in the program nationally. No new applications can be created and no change in the program can happen for at least six months.
According to CNBC, Illinois would lose $2.2 billion GDP annually with the repeal of DACA.