New video shows the moment a progressive Chicago councilman tried to block a colleague from attending a vote in the Sanctuary City, leading to his resignation.
The clip of the incident shows Carlos Ramirez-Rosa standing in the doorway of the city’s municipal hall last Thursday before appearing to use his arms to physically prevent Emma Mitts from entering the room.
Mitts and other lawmakers attended a vote on whether Chicago should put sanctuary city status on the ballot next year after the city was swamped by 20,000 migrants, causing a crisis.
Meetings on whether to put the measure on the ballot will continue Tuesday.
Tensions have increased between the Windy City’s black and Latino communities as Chicago struggles to care for more than 20,000 migrants who have arrived in the past 14 months. Thousands of asylum seekers are staying in police stations and airports because local authorities no longer have space to accommodate them.
New video of the incident shows Ramirez-Rosa standing in the doorway of the room
He then appears to use his arms to physically prevent Mitts from entering the room
Democratic Socialist Ramirez-Rosa, chairman of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s council, has resigned from his leadership positions on the council.
His departure came after he was accused of “bullying” fellow Ald. Emma Mitts during a special meeting to discuss the referendum on the city’s sanctuary status.
The city’s sanctuary status has been in place since 1985 and helps “ensure that undocumented residents are not prosecuted solely because of their immigration status.”
Ramirez-Rosa was tasked with rallying support for the mayor to reverse the referendum challenge and reportedly tried to prevent the measure’s supporters from getting a quorum to vote on the proposal.
Chicago Councilman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has resigned from his leadership positions on the City Council after allegedly trying to block a female colleague from attending a vote on the city’s sanctuary status
That’s what the Chicago black caucus said the incident was “an unfortunate and direct reminder of the decades of challenges that African American women serving on City Council have had to overcome in our collective efforts to increase the upward mobility of our collective communities.”
Ramirez-Rosa said in his resignation statement on Monday: ‘Because the position of Floor Leader above all requires the trust of our colleagues, and because I have lost that trust due to my actions, I have informed the mayor that I am resigning. position.
“Additionally, I am resigning as chair of the Commission on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards, effective December 1, to allow time for an effective transition,” Ramirez-Rosa said in a statement.
‘I can’t take away the mistakes I made last week. But I hope to rebuild the trust we have in each other as we move forward as a Council addressing the important issues impacting Chicago.”
Chicago’s Aldermanic Black Caucus had demanded Ramirez-Rosa’s resignation, as did demonstrators outside his office on Sunday. The Black Caucus consists of twenty of the fifty members of the Council.
Mitts, who is black, is the longest-serving woman on the council. She has not yet commented on the incident
The meeting was to discuss whether the city should ask voters in March whether Chicago should remain a sanctuary city as the city continues to be overwhelmed by nearly 20,000 newly arrived migrants.
The Windy City is struggling with more than 11,000 migrants in shelters and 4,000 staying in police stations and O’Hare International Airport (photo)
Mitts, who is black, is the longest-serving woman on the council. She has not yet commented on the incident.
“I think it’s imperative that we give voters the opportunity to have their say on this issue, especially when we’re talking about spending $255 million this year alone to care for 20,000 migrants,” Ald said . Raymond Lopez, who supports the referendum, told NBC Chicago.
Lopez and four other Latino council members also demanded Ramirez-Rosa’s resignation.
Ramirez-Rosa and the mayor, on the other hand, have argued that the city’s sanctuary status has nothing to do with providing benefits to migrants, but rather refers to cooperating with federal immigration laws.
“Our sanctuary city policy, which is a public safety policy, has nothing at all to do with this humanitarian crisis,” he said. ‘They haven’t done their homework. What they wanted was chaos, demagoguery, and that’s what we got.”
Mayor Johnson told reporters last week that Chicago and other U.S. cities are bearing the brunt of the blame for migrants. He is one of five mayors demanding the federal government help them care for migrants
The Chicago Sun Times reported that Johnson “simply couldn’t afford to stand behind Ramirez-Rosa after he was accused of getting physical with Ald.” Emma Mitts.’
Like New York and other cities, Chicago has struggled to house asylum seekers, slowly moving people from temporary spaces into shelters and, in the near future, tents.
Mayor Johnson told reporters last week that Chicago and other U.S. cities are bearing the brunt of the blame for migrants. He is one of five mayors demanding the federal government help them care for migrants.
“From day one, I have said the federal government needs to do more,” he said.
Chicago residents have resisted turning landmarks into emergency shelters, with some even asking city officials to close the city’s borders, while Mayor Johnson quietly signed a $29 million contract with a security firm to build base camps for migrants .
The situation at the U.S.-Mexico border has irritated the Democratic president, who is seeking re-election in 2024. He is increasingly under fire from members of his own party who are trying to control the growing number of migrants in their cities. Republicans argue that Biden is weak on border security and is allowing too many people to enter the United States.
He has responded by tightening border rules aimed at curbing illegal border crossings, and by offering work permits and other incentives to those who come to the U.S. legally — by registering in advance and flying in to come.
Stunning images have shown large numbers of migrants crossing difficult terrain and wading through the Rio Grande River on their way across the southern border
The reason for the rising number of migrants in these cities is complicated, but economic and climate-related hardships in their home countries are key drivers. More and more families are arriving and applying for asylum.
Some conservative-leaning states have sent migrants to so-called sanctuary cities such as New York or Chicago, where laws are more favorable to non-residents. But that alone doesn’t explain why cities are seeing such increases.
In recent years, when migrants arrived, they were released and picked up by nonprofits before usually going to stay with a relative in the US. But the nationalities of the people who arrived have changed and many no longer have anywhere to go.
Obtaining asylum is a long and difficult process through a severely congested immigration court system. In some cases, migrants can wait up to ten years for a trial. They are released into the US to wait. Some are eligible to work, but such permits are severely delayed. There are also concerns that allowing too many work permits will encourage more people to make the dangerous journey to the US on foot. So thousands of people are in limbo, unable to work and sleep in shelters or government facilities.
Biden has asked Congress for $1.4 billion to help state and local governments provide shelter and services to migrants, following earlier pleas from Democratic mayors and governors.