Davis calls Trump plan 'unconscionable,' leaving Chicago's status as a 'sanctuary city' uncertain
Veteran Illinois Congressman Danny Davis is among the growing list of Democratic party leaders sending mixed signals about where they officially stand on President Donald Trump’s still evolving plan to send many of the undocumented immigrants now spread across the country to so-called “sanctuary cities.”
Newsweek reports that soon after pledging Chicago would be more than ready for such a development, Davis was blasting the mere idea of it to the Washington Post as vindictive and downright “un-American.”
In going public with the administration’s growing intrigue in such a plan, White House officials have reportedly targeted such Democratic strongholds as Chicago, New York and San Francisco, where local politicians have enacted legislation aimed at protecting the rights of illegals in those cities from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.
Newsweek adds that White House officials also seem convinced that sending the vast majority of migrants to such “sanctuary cities” might ease the burden on detention centers already overwhelmed by record numbers of detainees.
"We'll bring the illegals — I call them 'the illegals,' they came across the border illegally — we'll bring them to sanctuary city areas and let that particular area take care of it," Trump told Newsweek.
Davis, whose 7th Congressional District includes most of the West Side of the city and parts or all of the suburban communities of Bellwood, Berkley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Oak Park, River Forest and Westchester, argues that Trump’s plan is as flawed as it is heartless.
“Taking the position that you go and dump overflow or overpower communities because of their sanctuary city status, or because they have said they would provide humane treatment to individuals who are displaced no matter how they became displaced, is just unconscionable,” Davis was quoted in the Post, adding that Chicago “is a city of immigrants” and one “that understands humanity.”
Illinois moved closer to officially becoming a sanctuary state earlier this year when House Bill 1867, sponsored by Democratic representatives Emanuel "Chris" Welch (D-Westchester), Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero), Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview), Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) was formally introduced. The bill limits the cooperation of public schools, state-funded medical treatment facilities, public libraries, courthouses and offices operated by the secretary of state are required to provide to ICE.
Not long after that, state lawmakers voted to continue a program that provides welfare benefits to illegal immigrants despite the state already being billions of dollars in debt. Around the same time, lawmakers also moved to introduce Senate Bill 1610, which amends the state’s criminal code to allow immigrants the right to withdraw a guilty plea if it stands to impact their immigration status and potentially lead to deportation.
Finally, the Democratically controlled senate in Springfield recently passed SB 1290, legislation that stipulates that landlords cannot retaliate against tenants they learn are in the country as illegal immigrants.