Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot Says Immigrants 'Welcome' Despite Donald Trump's Remarks on Sanctuary Cities

Lori Lightfoot hasn't yet taken the oath to be Chicago's next mayor, but she's already embraced the fact the Windy City is a sanctuary city, and she said Chicago will open its arms to immigrants seeking asylum.

Last week Lightfoot became the first black, female and openly-gay mayor elected for Chicago. The 56-year-old former federal prosecutor said President Donald Trump's threat to flood sanctuary cities with undocumented immigrants was "much ado about nothing," and that Chicago will embrace asylum seekers, much like she said her predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, would do.

"We have people who are routinely coming to this city. We have a whole infrastructure that's built up to make sure that their rights are protected while the city of Chicago has, under the current administration, provided funding for various groups to help support asylum seekers and other people that are going through the immigration court system. I expect it will continue, if not expand upon, those kinds of resources," Lightfoot said during a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper on Friday.

Cooper asked Lightfoot if she had a problem with Trump using migrants as a "weapon against political opponents," and Lightfoot said, "No."

"Look, don't get me wrong. What I'm saying is I don't think we should take the bait every time the president puts out a provocative tweet. What I think we need to do is make sure that we are being very clear and speaking our values," Lightfoot said. "We are a city that is a sanctuary city. We have immigrants from all over the world who call Chicago their home. They'll continue to do that, and we're going to continue to make sure that this is truly a welcoming community for those immigrants and we want them to come to the city of Chicago."

During her victory speech last week, Lightfoot said she wanted to bring more transparency to Chicago's City Hall and more investment to the South and West sides of the city.

On Friday, the president threatened to bus undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities in an effort to strong-arm Democrats to accept stiffer immigration policies. Sanctuary cities, counties and states have ordinances in place that protect immigrants from immigration and custom officials (ICE) from detaining them or jailing them for questions.

Trump said he would start sending migrants who exceeded their 20 days in custody to the sanctuary cities — controlled mostly by Democrats. In reaction, several Democratic lawmakers spoke out against Trump. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called Trump "unworthy of the presidency of the United States," and Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York said the president's insinuations were "both morally repugnant and probably illegal."

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot Says Immigrants 'Welcome' Despite Donald Trump's Remarks on Sanctuary Cities | U.S.