Three Mexican cities have pledged to support the legal defense of migrants in the United States through an agreement with officials and businesses in Chicago.
The mayors of Mexico City, Guadalajara and Ciudad Juárez met yesterday in Chicago with that city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, where they pledged support for undocumented migrants.
The four politicians said at a press conference that despite efforts at the national level to separate the two countries, the mayors are committed to working at the local level to help citizens and migrants on both sides of the border.
“We affirm here . . . that local governments will work together and will make a difference. Whereas there exist disagreements at the federal level, at the local level we can build very important agreements,” said Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera.
“Mexico city may be thousands of [kilometers] away, but we’re here to build bridges instead of walls, and [to build] deep foundations for our bridges, because the peoples of our two cities represent the future and a more intimate and immediate opportunity,” said Mayor Emanuel.
Mancera added that the cities be looking for financing through local governments and crowdfunding campaigns for “the legal defense of migrants, and to organize brigades that will go from door to door to inform migrants of their rights.”
Guadalajara Mayor Enrique Alfaro Alfaro said the first step would be to offer immigrants a legal defense so they can remain on American soil, where they have made new lives.
The challenge in Mexico will be receiving repatriated migrants and providing them with food, shelter, employment and health care, he said.
“We are going through rather delicate times for both our countries,” Alfaro continued. “. . . federal governments are doing very little to give us certainty about things.”
The government of Mexico City said later through a press release that it will offer Mexicans who return — voluntarily or otherwise — unemployment insurance, health care and favorable terms to acquire housing.