The number of threats coming at the Trump administration in the wake of the DACA decision from blue cities and states around the country is growing. We already saw that New York State’s governor is threatening to sue the President for… something. And now a new challenge is arising from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The Mayor of the Windy City (which has clearly solved all of its other problems I assume) came out almost immediately with an announcement for all of the “dreamers” attending Chicago’s public schools. Don’t worry, kids… I’ve got you covered. (Washington Times)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday assured incoming high schoolers that they need not to worry about President Trump ending the “Dreamers” program, saying Chicago Public Schools are a “Trump-free” sanctuary for young illegal immigrants.
“To all the Dreamers that are here in this room and in the city of Chicago: You are welcome in the city of Chicago. This is your home. And you have nothing to worry about,” Mr. Emanuel told a group of freshman on the first day of classes at Solorio Academy High School, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“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,” Mr. Emanuel said.
You know, I’m old enough to remember when public schools were a place where children went to learn about things including the government of their nation. But in Chicago we have a mayor who is announcing to some of the children in his city that they can feel free to break the law even before any official action has gone into effect or been challenged in the courts. There was a time when such a thing would have been considered shocking.
Of course, he’s really only talking to students who may wind up being in violation of the law (or those who already are because they weren’t enrolled in DACA to begin with). How does Mayor Emanuel propose to do what he’s claiming? It’s true that Chicago might be able to keep ICE agents out of the schools, but the kids have to go home sooner or later. He can’t physically stop immigration officials from visiting their homes and, should they be priority candidates, taking them into custody and beginning deportation proceedings. If he did, then the Mayor himself might be in line for a court appearance.
The underlying reality, of course, is that this is all an exercise in bluster and political posturing. We still don’t have anywhere near the number of enforcement officials it would take to track down, apprehend and process all of the illegal aliens in the country, and for the most part they will be prioritized in the same way they traditionally have been. Anyone who qualified for the DACA program should be, by definition. a person with no criminal record or other obvious red flags. That means that even if they revert to fully illegal, unprotected status, they’re likely so far down the priority list that nobody will be coming after them any time soon.
These are the sorts of arguments which make Washington politics look more like a game show than any serious example of good governance. And all Rahm Emanuel is likely going to accomplish with this challenge is a hastening of his path toward losing any DoJ JAG money that might have been coming his way.