President-elect Donald Trump is sticking to his promise to deport undocumented immigrants from the U.S. — as well as Trump sticks to any of his promises, that is.
Trump campaigned on a promise to deport every undocumented immigrant — around 11 million people, Pew Research estimates — as well as the families of undocumented immigrants, which bumps the number up an unknown amount. Even U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants, who are U.S. citizens, would be deported under Trump’s campaign promises. (He would also remove children’s right to citizenship at birth, established in 1868.)
Recently, like with all his other promises, Trump walked back that statement, saying on Nov. 13 that he wants to deport 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants. He says his priority is to deport “dangerous” undocumented immigrants or those with a criminal record. House Speaker Paul Ryan said there would be no “deportation force,” which either means that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department will be disbanded, or that it won’t deport people, or that business will go on as usual, or that Donald Trump just says random stuff to make people clap for him.
The new Trump approach is not particularly different from the policy of President Barack Obama, whose administration has deported more than 2.5 million undocumented immigrants, and other Democrats — but how many people would it affect here?
Thousands Could Be Deported Under Trump Plan
Over a thousand people, potentially over 2,000, would be deported from the neighborhood, LoganSquarist has found.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a pro-immigration group, used Department of Homeland Security data to arrive at an estimate of 7,000 undocumented immigrants in Logan Square in 2014. The DHS statistics are from 2010.
The total population of Logan Square is 73,500, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
Given the ongoing gentrification in Logan Square, it’s tough to say whether the 7,000 estimate is still accurate, or if the number is higher or lower today.
If we assume the 7,000 number is still about right, that would be 1,400 to 2,100 Logan Square residents deported under the latest Trump plan. Illinois would lose 102,000 to 153,000 residents, since Illinois has about 511,000 undocumented immigrants, ICIRR estimates.
Complicating those numbers further, 89 percent of undocumented immigrants in Illinois live in family households, ICIRR estimates, and “many” live in mixed-status households that include documented and undocumented immigrants. Since Trump previously promised to deport U.S. citizens if they were children of undocumented immigrants, the estimates above would only go up.
Logan Square Neighborhood Association has resources for undocumented students and other immigrants. Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) has announced on Facebook that ICE is “banned” in the 35th Ward and that any ICE officers who visit homes in the 35th Ward will have their homes visited in turn, although it is unclear who would visit their home.
Sanctuary Cities Explained
What about Chicago’s “sanctuary city” status? Trump has recently said he’d block federal funding to sanctuary cities — Chicago is one of about 30 in the country — because they are supposed safe harbors for undocumented immigrants.
In fact, the term has no specific definition. Chicago and other cities do have policies in place stating that local law enforcement will not put its time and effort into identifying immigrants with no documentation, just like many jurisdictions no longer care if someone’s carrying marijuana, if it’s their only crime.
The benefits of sanctuary cities include focusing law enforcement on other crimes and allowing undocumented immigrants to participate in society — visit the hospital, report crimes, pay taxes — rather than hiding out of fear of arrest. Undocumented immigrants pay billions in taxes every year.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel quickly spoke up against Trump’s attack in sanctuary cities, saying Chicago “will always be a sanctuary city.”
Trump would not be able to shut off the funding all by himself, but Republicans have proposed the idea before. Earlier this year, the Senate killed the idea, possibly because Obama would have vetoed it.
Emanuel, Gutierrez Confronted on Immigration
In a Nov. 14 encounter, a Chicago man confronted prominent local Democrats for what he said was a soft position on immigration, pointing to the ongoing battle for the Democratic identity in the wake of Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.
While Emanuel and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) attempted to reassure Chicagoans that Trump would not affect the city’s status as a sanctuary city, Luis Gomez, a 21-year-old student, told Emanuel, Gutierrez and others that their position led to an immigration “crisis” and said they protected only undocumented immigrants with no criminal record.
More broadly, Gomez criticized the mayor and representative for “stale neoliberal policies” and a lack of “bold leadership.”
In other Gutierrez news, the congressman recently co-signed a letter from Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) asking Trump to rescind his appointment of Stephen Bannon to the position of senior White House adviser. Bannon, formerly the head of right-wing news site Breitbart, referred to Breitbart in the past as “the platform for the alt-right.” Bannon’s site repeatedly ran and continues to run racist, white supremacist and anti-immigrant stories. His appointment won praise from white supremacist leaders.
Trump himself has long been accused of racism and white nationalism; those charges are subjective, but he has stated he prefers short guys with yarmulkes counting his money rather than black people, and has retweeted racist and factually wrong stats on crime (the “False” label was added later), among many other examples.