Chicago has declared itself a “Trump-free zone” in response to the US President’s scrapping of the Dreamers scheme protecting young undocumented immigrants.
In a speech to students who have benefited from the policy, Chicago major Rahm Emmanuel said: “To all the Dreamers that are here in this room and the city of Chicago: you are welcome in the city of Chicago. This is your home and you have nothing to worry about.”
He added: “Chicago, our schools, our neighbourhoods, our city, as it relates to what President Trump said, will be a Trump-free zone. You have nothing to worry about. And I want you to know this, and I want your families to know this. And rest assured, I want you to come to school … and pursue your dreams.”
Introduced by former president under Barack Obama in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy prevented the deportation of nearly 800,000 people who came to the US as children.
The programme offers renewable protection from deportation for two years to people who entered the US before the age of 16.
Those with DACA status are able to apply for work and study permits, which critics say amounts to amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Recipients must have lived continuously in the US since 2007 and must not have a criminal record.
Trump rescinded the Dreamers programme this week, with his government stating that no first-time applications will be acted on after Tuesday.
A hardline approach towards immigration was one of the cornerstones of Trump’s campaign for office last year.
He also vowed to “immediately terminate” DACA if elected.