Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a statement Friday condemning a reported plan by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to conduct raids over the weekend, saying that the city is taking “concrete steps” to support immigrant communities.
According to a statement issued by Lightfoot’s office, the mayor has directed Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to terminate ICE’s access to CPD databases related to immigration enforcement activities, and issued a strong objection to the reported raids.
Here is the mayor’s statement in full:
“We are all aware of the threat from President Trump regarding raids by ICE, and in response, Chicago has taken concrete steps to support our immigrant communities. I have directed – and Superintendent Johnson has confirmed – that CPD has terminated ICE’s access to CPD’s databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities. I have personally spoken to ICE leadership in Chicago and voiced my strong objection to any such raids. Further, I reiterated that CPD will not cooperate with or facilitate any ICE enforcement actions. Chicago will always be a welcoming city and a champion for the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities, and I encourage any resident in need of legal aid to contact the National Immigrant Justice Center.”
Other prominent politicians, including Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Senator Dick Durbin, have also criticized the reported raids.
Chicago is one of numerous cities that will reportedly be targeted in the ICE raids, according to NBC News. Sources have told NBC News that the raids will target mainly “families with final orders of deportation.”
ICE issued a statement of its own in response to the report of raids, saying that it will prioritize the “arrest and removal” of illegal immigrants who pose a threat to national security:
"Due to law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to enforcement operations. As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. In fact, 90 percent of aliens arrested by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations component in FY2018 had either a criminal conviction(s), pending criminal charge(s), were an ICE fugitive, or illegally reentered the country after previously being removed. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and — if found removable by final order — removal from the United States."
Democratic presidential candidates, including Senator Bernie Sanders, have spoken out about the reported raids, directing those potentially affected to legal resource websites.