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New Chicago Ordinance Inspired by Case of African Woman
Mayor Rahm Emanuel

New Chicago Ordinance Inspired by Case of African Woman

New Chicago Ordinance Inspired by Case of African Woman

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday introduced the “Safe Families Ordinance” to prevent police from asking about the immigration status of those who have not committed a serious offense.

“The history of this city is written by immigrants and this ordinance is consistent with our values, our economy and personal interests,” Emanuel said during a press conference in front of a school in the city’s Mexican neighborhood Little Village. Emanuel was joined by Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill.

The Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights said the ordinance is the direct result of protests against the detention of an African immigrant woman in February.

Rose Tchakounte, 54, a native of Cameroon who had a pending asylum claim, was detained for a minor traffic violation. When police discovered that she had a pending deportation order, they turned her over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Tchakounte was detained for two days and then released as a result of negotiations by the mayor, but her case inspired protests by immigrant rights groups who say the police had violated the spirit of a 2006 city ordinance and a 1985 executive order by the mayor that prohibit Chicago law enforcement agents from carrying out immigration duties.

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