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Rauner urged to take a stand against Trump sanctuary city threat

Gov. Bruce Rauner (left) and President Donald Trump (right). File photos. | Sun-Times

A pair of influential aldermen demanded Friday that Gov. Bruce Rauner “stand up for Chicago” and against President-elect Donald Trump’s first 100 days promise to cut off federal funding to so-called “sanctuary” cities.

Ald. Danny Solis (25th), former chairman of the City Council’s Hispanic Caucus, and Ald. Ameya-Pawar (47th), chairman of the Asian-American Caucus, said they are particularly concerned because Rauner tried last year to temporarily block the flow of Syrian refugees into Illinois in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t run elections downstate and benefit from the popularity of Donald Trump and then come up to Chicago and not utter his name,” Pawar said.

Referring to Rauner, Pawar said, “This is a guy who decided to play politics and talk about banning Syrian refugees well before the Trump campaign had taken off. My question is, where are you on this? Are you going to fight for the city and ensure that all of our funding stays in place because we are a sanctuary city? Are you going to stand up for Chicago and to a president-elect who is essentially threatening to eviscerate programs in major cities across America?”

Solis agreed that it’s time for Rauner to declare his support of Chicago’s status as a “sanctuary city” where illegal immigrants can live without fear of police harassment.

“I’m hoping that Gov. Rauner puts politics aside and stands with us to support and protect immigrants,” Solis said Friday.

“It’s the right thing to do and the best thing to do for the city. We don’t want to create a panic in communities of color that leads to violence.”

The governor’s office had no immediate comment on the demand that Rauner take a stand on Trump’s threat to cut off all federal funding to Chicago and other sanctuary cities.

Asked about the presidential election results at a Veteran’s Day event in Champaign earlier Friday, Rauner said he was “glad it’s over.”

He also sought to move beyond the divisive rhetoric of the presidential campaign and said he hoped to establish a “good positive working relationship” with the Trump administration.

“Put the election behind. It’s history. . . .I’m glad it’s over. I think we should keep it the past. I don’t think dwelling on the past is productive. I think we need to come together as Illinoisans and Americans,” Rauner said.

“You know what? Whether Democrat or Republican or independent, it doesn’t matter. We need to care about each other. We need to have our society be inclusive and tolerant and welcoming of diversity. We need equal opportunity for everyone, including the disadvantaged and minorities. We need a strong, healthy economy creating good, quality jobs that pay well for everybody who wants to work.”

Solis said he can only hope that Trump will back off after Tuesday’s stunning upset over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“He was saying a lot of things. I find it hard to believe that he’s going to build this wall, deport eleven million people and cut off all federal funding to a city like Chicago,” Solis said.

“If he follows through with that threat, the [anti-Trump] protests that are happening now would be small potatoes compared to what would happen across the nation.”

During a taping of the WLS-AM (890) Radio program, “Connected to Chicago,” to be broadcast at 7 p.m. Sunday, U.S. Rep. Mike Quiqley (D-Il.) said he is equally concerned about Trump’s bold threat.

“The president-elect said he would cut off all federal funding to sanctuary cities. An extraordinary thing to say, particularly for someone who says the federal government should stay out of the local governing of states and cities. How much more dramatic can it be? Am I concerned about it? Absolutely,” Quigley said.

“In the final analysis, though, if the president wants to do what he talks about with a big infrastructure package, he’s going to need support across the aisle. And if he says, ‘None for Chicago,’ he’s not going to get support from anybody in Chicago.”

Last year, the City Council accused Rauner of overstepping his legal authority by trying to temporarily block the flow of Syrian refugees into Illinois in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

After an emotional debate that harkened back to America’s darkest, most intolerant days, aldermen also unanimously approved a resolution reaffirming Chicago’s status as a “sanctuary city.”

Solis was moved to tears on that day as he talked about arriving in Chicago in 1956 at the age of six and spending his first Christmas in this welcoming city.

“I remember that first Christmas dinner with my father, my mother and three of my sisters. I was the oldest of the siblings and my dad sitting there talking about how we had won the lottery,” Solis recalled.

“I’m emotional right now. People should understand what this country means to immigrants and refugees across this world. And if we turn our back on these refugees, we are becoming unfeeling, without a heart and not recognizing that we need these immigrants to continue to build our country.”