In the middle of a planned speech Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pivoted from the script to take a shot at President Donald Trump.
“I think it is an absolute mistake what’s happening on our border in the United States,” he said.
“I know what America stands for,” he said. “As an American, I believe in America and its values and separating a parent from their child who’s only trying to bring their child to a better tomorrow is not who we are and not what we believe in.”
The comments come amid rising outrage from Democrats and some Republicans over the forced separation of migrant children and parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Emanuel did not address the Bill Clinton-era policy or Barack Obama’s adherence to the policy.
Emanuel’s longtime friend and ally, Governor Rauner echoed his remarks.
Rauner blasted President Donald Trump’s administration and he should stop separating children from parents who cross into the U.S. illegally.
The Republican told reporters in Chicago Tuesday that the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” practice is “heartbreaking” and “bad policy.” He says he has relayed that message to the White House and Illinois’ congressional delegation. His Democrat opponent, JB Pritzker agreed with him and called Trump immoral and cruel.
Rauner did not answer a question about whether he is still committed to sending National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border if the president asks. Trump has called on several states to send troops to help with non-law enforcement activities.
At least five governors, including two Republicans, say they will not send troops to the border because of the family separation issue.
In 2017, Rauner bucked the Illinois Republican Party platform and signed SB31 into law, angering the party’s conservative base. SB31, the Trust Act, makes Illinois a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights estimates there are more than 511,000 illegal immigrants in Illinois and more than 183,000 in Chicago, also a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.