Maybe Cardinal Blase Cupich, and his compassionate, vocal embrace of immigrants, will rub off on Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Pope Francis elevated Cupich, formerly an archbishop, to cardinal Saturday in Rome. Rauner was there for the historic occasion.
Back home in Illinois, immigrants of many backgrounds remain anxious and fearful about a Donald Trump presidency. They need to hear from Rauner that he is on their side, ready to appeal for better judgment from his fellow Republican if Trump moves to enact the discriminatory policies that he talked up on the campaign trail.
Of pressing concern to Chicago and Cook County is the possibility of losing federal funding because they have sanctuary ordinances that spell out when local law enforcement will cooperate with U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement on deportations. During the campaign, Trump promised to crack down on municipalities with such ordinances. Where does Rauner stand?
A spokesman for the governor emphasized that Rauner supports comprehensive immigration reform, but we’re not talking solely about undocumented immigrants. Trump is a concern to authorized and unauthorized immigrants alike.
Just days ago, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a member of Trump’s transition team, told Reuters that advisers were considering sending the president-elect a formal proposal for a national registry of immigrants and visitors from Muslim countries.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago aldermen and members of Congress from the Chicago area have vowed to do all they can to keep law-abiding immigrants safe. Rauner would be wise to do the same. It is what leaders do.
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