A day after she announced that the city of Chicago would not cooperate with planned deportation raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is doubling down on her opposition to President Donald Trump’s policies.
The mayor, speaking to a gathering of immigration activists and concerned residents in the city’s Uptown neighborhood Saturday, had two words for the president.
“Back off,” she said to applause from the gathered crowd.
Lightfoot’s stance comes a day after she announced that city officials would not cooperate with federal immigration authorities in a planned series of deportation raids in 10 major American cities, including Chicago. The mayor also said that the Chicago Police Department would cut off ICE’s access to databases of information on immigrants living in the city.
“We have to stand up and say in Chicago, we stand for a different set of values and we will do everything we can to enforce those values,” she said.
On Saturday, President Trump announced in a tweet that the planned raids, which were never officially confirmed by ICE officials, had been delayed for at least two weeks to allow Democrats and Republicans to “get together work out a solution to the asylum and loophole problems at the southern border.”
In remarks made before getting on Marine One Saturday, the president criticized Chicago and other cities for their “sanctuary city” policies.
“If you look at Chicago they are fighting it,” he said. “Other cities that are fighting it, they are high crime cities and sanctuary cities.”
Lightfoot isn’t the only mayor opposing the Trump administration plan, and other officials in Illinois are supporting similar initiatives. This week Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced his intention to sign into law several bills that limit local police departments in their cooperation with immigration authorities, and also signed a bill that would prohibit private companies from opening detention facilities for undocumented immigrants, including a proposed facility in Dwight.
In the face of the opposition, ICE officials are responding, saying the focus is on the arrest and removal of undocumented immigrants who pose a threat to national security.
Despite their comments, Lightfoot said that she is unbending in her resolve to push back against the policies of the administration.
“We have cut ICE off so they cannot use info gathered by CPD to help facilitate their immoral round-up of immigrant families,” she said.