Nearer My Beer To Thee

Mayor Lori Lightfoot signs ‘Welcoming City’ ordinance update, ending Chicago police cooperation with federal immigration agents (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 21, 2021)

“Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed an ordinance Tuesday closing loopholes in Chicago’s Welcoming City ordinance, prohibiting police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities to deport immigrants living in the country without legal permission who have criminal backgrounds.”

Bulletin sounds shocking to those who are unfamiliar with the Windy City, yet there’s no cause for alarm. This is simply an update of the existing statute, passed in 1925. The Sicilian Immigration Act (aka Capone Law) was intended to protect migrant beer distributors from being deported to Indiana and Wisconsin. After nearly a century, it was in danger of becoming obsolete, due to advances in technology (microbreweries) coupled with changing perceptions of Sicilians (Battle of Anzio, 1943).

Indeed, it was only in the last few years that Americans learned that Anzio is on the mainland of Italy, and that Al Capone was born in Brooklyn, NY, although his ancestors came from the province of Salerno, in Campania, not far from the ruins of Pompei. (By coincidence, Frank Nitti, who succeeded Capone as head of The Chicago Outfit, was born in the same village as were Capone’s parents; he came to America when he was a child. His family also settled in Brooklyn. Nitti’s mother was Capone’s first cousin, which is also a coincidence. Then again, maybe not).

In any case, now that Chicago lies in ruins, thanks to gentrification and the rule of the Top 1%, the city mothers, led by Mayor Lightfoot, have taken the old law out of the cement and brought it back to life. And it’s a good thing, too. After all, Chicago is a welcoming city. That’s why Donald Trump used it as a doormat for so many years, even as he defaced the magnificent Chicago skyline by erecting a hideous high-rise dungeon to tower over State Street. Indeed, he is not welcome there, under any circumstances. It may take awhile just to close that particular Loophole. But as Scarface explained, “that’s why I got good mouthpieces.” Now all Chicago needs is an expert on income tax evasion, and the local gentry will just have to go rule elsewhere, before they wear out their welcome.

John Thomas
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