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Chicago’s mayor vows to keep ‘sanctuary city’ status, defying the incoming Trump administration

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks at a news conference Monday in Chicago. Emanuel said the outcome of the presidential election won't impact Chicago's commitment as a sanctuary city for immigrants. Chicago has been a sanctuary city since the late 1980s, meaning authorities and city officials aren't allowed to ask residents about their immigration status during routine activities, like traffic stops. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed Monday that his city would remain a “sanctuary city” under President-elect Donald Trump, while vowing to defy any deportation orders that come from the Trump administration.

Currently, Chicago city law prohibits employers and police officers from asking people their immigration status, according to the Chicago Tribune, a practice Emanuel said would continue under the new president.

"To all those who are, after Tuesday's election, very nervous and filled with anxiety as we've spoken to, you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago and you are supported in Chicago," Emanuel said, according to the Tribune.

"Chicago will always be a sanctuary city," he added.

Emanuel’s vow would completely defy the Trump administration, which plans to immediately deport all illegal immigrants who have committed crimes, build a wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico and block federal funding to cities that act as safe harbors for illegal immigrants.

During an interview with CBS' “60 Minutes” over the weekend, Trump doubled down on those proposed policies:

What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million — it could be even 3 million — we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate.

After the border is secure and after everything gets normalized, we’re going to make a determination on the people that they’re talking about, who are terrific people — they’re terrific people — but we are going to make a determination at that. But before we make that determination … it’s very important, we are going to secure our border.

During the interview, Trump didn’t specifically mention sanctuary cities, but the plan for his first 100 days in office does include cutting all federal funding to such cities.

Still, that hasn’t been much of a deterrent to those municipalities. Along with Chicago, the mayors of New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and Philadelphia have all pledged to continue harboring illegal immigrants under the new administration.

"Now, administrations may change, but our values and principles as it relates to inclusion does not," Emanuel said in his speech Monday. “People from all faiths, all backgrounds and all parts of the world have beaten their path to the city of Chicago because Chicago offers them and — more importantly, as the son and the grandson of an immigrant — their children and grandchildren a chance at the American dream."

Nearly 300 cities and counties across the country have “sanctuary” policies, according to NPR.

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