Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) announced Wednesday that she has cut off Immigration and Customs Enforcement from accessing the city’s police databases in an effort to prevent illegal immigrants from being targeted in potential deportation raids.
What are the details?
Speaking at press conference, Lightfoot said, “Chicago is and will always be a welcoming city that will never tolerate ICE tearing our families apart.”
With that, Lightfoot went on to explain she had “personally spoken with ICE leadership in Chicago” to express her opposition to raids of any kind, before detailing the measures her administration has taken over the past few weeks to hinder ICE’s efforts.
Lightfoot said “the Chicago Police Department will not cooperate with ICE. That means that they will not team up with ICE to detain any resident. We’ve also cut off access from ICE to any CPD databases and that will remain permanent.”
Despite Lightfoot’s efforts, several immigrant rights groups in Chicago say the mayor isn’t doing enough. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that a coalition of organizations are urging Mayor Lightfoot to sign an executive order banning all Department of Homeland Security agencies — not just ICE — from accessing police data.
Last month, President Trump announced he had delayed an operation aimed at deporting thousands of immigrants illegally residing in the United States. According to the Huffington Post, the raids would have been conducted “in at least 10 major cities, including Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago.”
ICE director Mark Morgan later explained the operation was called off because leaked reports of the plans “really jeopardized the safety of law enforcement officers.”
The New York Times reported Thursday that nationwide deportation raids were back on and set to begin Sunday, and “will be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement over multiple days.”
The Chicago Tribune pointed out that “the operation is similar to ones conducted regularly since 2003 that that often produce hundreds of arrests,” adding, “but this latest effort is notable because of the politics swirling around it.”