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Mayor Emanuel says Chicago will remain a sanctuary city

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CHICAGO (WGN) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago will remain a sanctuary city.

Sanctuary cities are ones where police are not required to notify customs and immigration officials if they encounter undocumented immigrants.

Chicago has been a sanctuary city since the late 1980s. That means authorities and city officials aren't allowed to ask residents about their immigration status during routine activities, like traffic stops.

Emanuel spoke Monday at a news conference with U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, state legislators and health experts who say statements made by President-elect Donald Trump during the campaign have caused intense public anxiety.

Emanuel says operators for Chicago's 311 information line have been trained to assist anyone with concerns.

President elect Trump said Sunday that deportations would begin immediately of undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

Health officials in Illinois say calls to crisis centers and suicide hotlines across the state have gone up more than 200 percent since the election.

There are 37 sanctuary cities around the country.