As reported deportation raids by ICE loom over the weekend, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new set of executive actions that her administration says will help provide additional protections and resources for immigrant and refugee communities in the city.
“Chicago has long been a champion for the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities, and today we’re standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our fellow neighbors to ensure all residents of the city are supported, regardless of their legal status,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “With one clear voice, we are saying that hate has no place here, and we will never tolerate ICE tearing apart Chicago’s families and communities.”
The administration is investing an additional $250,000 into Chicago’s Legal Protection Fund, providing guidance to all city-owned facilities, and has also terminated ICE’s access to Chicago Police databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities.
Some activists applauded the move, but are still calling for Lightfoot’s administration to take more action.
"An additional $250,000 for the Immigrant Legal Defense Fund will go a long way towards ensuring more immigrants are aware of their rights and connected with legal services,” Chicago Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa said. “However, Mayor Lightfoot must still act by issuing an executive order to end CPD and ICE collaboration, a substantive measure that would cost the city zero dollars."
The calls for action come as the Trump administration gets set for a massive operation in numerous large cities, including Chicago. Those deportation operations, conducted by ICE and other agencies, are expected to begin Sunday.
Faith leaders in Chicago are offering their support for immigrants concerned about the upcoming deportation raids, and while President Trump has said that the raids will focus on those with criminal records, Senator Dick Durbin expressed scepticism about the raids.
“If someone has a criminal record and is a danger to our community, they must go,” Durbin said Friday. “But that is a very small percentage of people were talking about.”
Protests are planned throughout the area over the weekend, and local activists are gearing up to help those who may be targeted in the raids.
“Get your phone out, put it on record, and record every instance that’s happening,” one faith leader said in an interview Friday.