As President Donald Trump threatens to cut off funding for sanctuary cities there is a lot of fear and uncertainty, but Chicagoans have come together to launch the “One Chicago” campaign in support of immigrants.
Chicago stands to lose around $3.6 billion in federal funding possibly jeopardizing programs that pay for things including feeding low-income pregnant women to repairing roads and maintaining affordable housing, according to CNN.
As a result, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and several other concerned citizens gathered together Sunday afternoon to address the growing needs of Chicago’s refugee and immigrant population. The campaign was kicked-off at the DuSable Museum of African American History where the slogan, “three million residents, three million stories, one Chicago,” was made clear through the countless faces in the crowd sharing their stories.
Emmanuel spoke at the event and grew emotional when detailing his own grandfather’s struggles as he journeyed to the United States at age 13.
“He came because this country represented something that Moldova would never stand for,” Emmanuel said, according to CNN. “This country, the place he calls home — the place my grandfather said without a word of English — his grandson is the mayor. This is the greatest city in the greatest country in the world.”
Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez was also in attendance and spoke highly of the campaign and the city that founded it. He praised Chicago for being a pace that “protects immigrants, that cherishes immigrants, that allow immigrants to really prosper.”
The goal of the One Chicago campaign is simply to unify Chicagoans and to encourage that they stand together in times of growing uncertainty, according to CNN. Angel Castillo, an immigrant living in Chicago, expressed how he deals with these uncertainties, kissing his kids goodbye whenever he leaves, unsure if he will see them the next day.
“With the new administration, everybody lives in fear,” Castillo said.
The threatened funding cuts could significantly alter many programs and One Chicago will work to combat those negative effects. The goal is that the campaign will “facilitate access to resources and support for Chicago’s residents, including its immigrant and refugee communities.”
In this time of fear and uncertainty with an administration making threats and the county often being drastically divided, it is refreshing for Chicagoans to come together and truly have One Chicago to combat these fears.