CHICAGO May 22 Chicago is starting an
advertising campaign to reassure immigrants that they are
welcome in the third-largest U.S. city, in a show of defiance to
a crackdown by President Donald Trump on people who have entered
the country illegally.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Monday he was not worried about
the "One Chicago" campaign upsetting the Trump administration.
Starting this week, signs will appear at more than 200
locations including digital billboards, trains and newspaper
racks with photos of Chicago immigrants highlighting the
diversity of their backgrounds. Radio and TV spots will start
this week with similar stories. A new website, onechi.org,
features links for free legal aid and "know your rights"
The campaign's slogan is "Three million residents, three
million stories, one Chicago."
The mayor's office said the campaign was costing taxpayers
nothing. The advertising was designed on a pro-bono basis by the
ad agency Ogilvy Chicago and uses city-owned public-service
"I'm not worried because we're not only on firm legal ground
but firm moral ground," Emanuel said. "We're all immigrants and
we're not going to let them divide us and say that person is not
Trump already has threatened to withhold federal funds from
cities such as Chicago that offer sanctuary to illegal
immigrants who commit no serious crimes. The Justice Department
in April singled out Chicago and New York, saying they were
"crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent
crime," even though experts say illegal immigration had little
to do with Chicago's spike in murders.
Last month, a U.S. judge blocked a portion of Trump's
executive order that sought to withhold most federal funds from
so-called sanctuary cities as part of the administration's
efforts to toughen immigration enforcement.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo on Monday
saying that only Department of Justice and Homeland Security
grants would be at risk for cities that "willfully refuse" to
comply with federal law.
Sanctuary cities generally offer safe harbor to illegal
immigrants and often do not use municipal funds or resources to
advance the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Emanuel, whose grandparents came to the United States as
immigrants from Moldova, said the campaign was meant to reassure
those feeling frightened about deportation. Chicago officials
estimates there are about 300,000 undocumented immigrants in the
"I see it with kids all across Chicago – they are nervous
about their parents and nervous about their own safety because
of the government and the rhetoric," he said.
(Editing by Frank McGurty and Bill Trott)