Anti-ICE operation protest held as Durbin criticizes new immigration policy

CHICAGO -- Senator Dick Durbin criticized a new immigration policy that separates parents from their children at the border.

Monday, Durbin met with a woman from the Congo, whose 6-year-old daughter was taken from her and brought to Chicago.

Durbin and immigration advocates say the stress of not having her daughter was so great, she waved her request for asylum so she could be reunited with her.

WGN News is not showing her face or her daughter’s because the family is concerned about their safety.

The two were detained by ICE in November and were being held in separate detention centers.

The mother was detained in San Diego for four months. Her 6-year-old daughter was in Chicago

Her lawyer’s motion to reopen the case was denied.  Now they’re in a holding pattern.

Downstairs from the meeting, a protest was held against ICE and the Department of Homeland Security for what advocates say were illegal and massive operations in 37 communities in Illinois including, St. Charles, Berwyn, Aurora, Joliet and Cicero. A class action lawsuit was filed against ICE for questioning and detaining people on traffic stops, in their homes and work.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says there is now a zero tolerance policy when it comes to immigration.

"Now we all know that many of those crossing our border illegally are leaving difficult even dangerous conditions. And we understand all are due proper respect and the proper legal process,” he said. “But we cannot abandon legal discipline and sound legal concepts."