As immigrant arrests skyrocket, Chicago introduces campaign to make immigrants feel welcome

CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - As Chicago continues to push back federal orders on sanctuary cities, Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced the “One Chicago” campaign on Sunday to emphasize that immigrants are welcome here.

The mayor said whether you’re in America as a first-, second- or third- generation immigrant, or just arrived as a refugee, we all have the same dreams for our children, and that’s something that should be honored and protected.

With  a colorful and diverse spread of desserts from Hong Kong, France and Mexico, the DuSable Museum of African American History served as the backdrop for the launch of “One Chicago.”

"It is not where you come from, it's where you're going. It's not what you were, it's what you have the potential of always being,” said Rep. Danny Davis (D-Chicago).

Simply put, what the mayor wants the children of Chicago to be is free.

"In our city, the United States government has scared our children into whether they should go about their daily lives in getting an education, and believing what our families believed,” said Emanuel.

Since President Trump took office, the number of immigrant arrests is up about 33 percent according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The mayor’s fighting back. He got choked up talking about his grandfather who came to America at age 13 without a word of English. Emanuel said we may have our own stories, but we are all one.

“This is an important moment for us as a city and as a country,” said Emanuel.

The mayor’s asking people to put up the one star, “One Chicago” sign in their window, a sign of support for former refugees like Lidia Tomulete. She came to the U.S. from Romania nearly 25 years ago. Today, she’s the mom of a 15-year-old son who plays viola for the People’s Music School.

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else during this time politically as I want to be in Chicago,” said Tomulete.

Tomulete has lived in Texas and in New York and says nothing felt like home until she got here.

"It's incredible to live in a city that actually accepts, and not just accepts but welcomes people from all over the world, because it's what I imagined America would be,” said Tomulete.

You can check out One Chicago, its mission, stories and services at