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posted: 8/12/2014 12:10 PM

Tend to needs of Illinois' own kids' first

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced Chicago, thus Illinois, will become home for 1,000 illegal immigrant children. Emanuel says "the test and measure of a city is how it treats its children." What does it say about a city and state that denies basic care for over 23,000 cognitively impaired, vulnerable, U.S. citizens labeled developmentally disabled? Once called mentally retarded, these vulnerable sit on a state list waiting for the same assistance being offered to illegal immigrants -- some sit for year.

More than 6,000 are in emergency situations suffering from abuse, homelessness, abandonment and neglect. These children live legally within the borders of our country, yet, they are politically exiled from society and barred from receiving basic mandated care. These children are literally aliens in their own country.

I agree with Emanuel when he says that he "rejects the notion that it's either/or" and that Chicago has "big enough shoulders and an even bigger heart" to help. So, where is Emanuel's concern and compassion for the children born with cognitive impairments in his hometown? Where is the city's "big heart" to care for and protect them as they grow into adulthood while still possessing the mind and skills of a child?

Will Emanuel show the same respect and dignity by using the same moral measurement and test for the disabled as it is using to welcome and care for the 1,000 illegal children?

Christine Chalkey


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