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Mayor Lightfoot signs updated Welcoming City Ordinance

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed an updated Welcoming City Ordinance Tuesday, adding more protections for undocumented immigrants and refugees living in the city.

Video Transcript

DIANE PATHIEU: And Ravi, this morning, Mayor Lightfoot signed the updated welcoming city ordinance here at City Hall. And although she has the majority of the council's support, not everybody agrees with it.

The changes to the now updated welcoming city ordinance passed in the council with over 40 votes. It closes carve-outs or loopholes prohibiting police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities to deport immigrants living here illegally, even those with criminal backgrounds. The mayor and her supporters believe the immigrant community will now feel safer calling police and cooperating with investigations without fear they may get deported.

LORI LIGHTFOOT: Being a welcoming city means being a city that embraces people equally with open arms, where no one has to fear being their authentic self walking down the street, doing business, earning a living, and taking care of their family.

DIANE PATHIEU: Those that oppose the ordinance, like Alderman Raymond Lopez of the 15th Ward, says his constituents oppose closing the loopholes because they believe it will now allow protection for violent gang members.

LORI LIGHTFOOT: Our families came here to pursue a better life. And to say that, even if they came here undocumented, to say that they are of the same caliber as someone who's a gang member, shooting in the neighborhoods and also just as worthy as protecting him as they are our grandparents, our family, it is absolutely a slap in the face.

DIANE PATHIEU: Local immigrant rights groups have been working to encourage these changes for years. Alderman Lopez says he has several colleagues on the city council that were also not in favor of these updates.