CHICAGO – While Chicago is filing a lawsuit against the federal government over the way it’s treating sanctuary cities, some Chicago residents were at ICE headquarters on Monday to deliver their own message to the president.
Protesters at downtown’s ICE headquarters said President Donald Trump is tearing families apart.
It wasn’t the largest protest ICE headquarters ever saw, but the message remained the same, and it was deeply personal for 16-year-old Britzy Lino from Bolingbrook, Ill.
In her letter to the president, she mentions that her mother, Francisca, is just two weeks away from being deported.
“She's been here more than 10 years. Every time I see her I think, 'We may not be together in two weeks,' because the government is just tearing families apart. My mother has never gotten a speeding ticket, anything, and they want to separate us,” Lino said.
Though the number of deportations went up during the Obama administration, President Trump made increasing immigration enforcement one of his main campaign promises. That has led to increased tension for those in Chicago, a proclaimed sanctuary city.
Cecilia Garcia's husband, Hugo, was deported after a traffic stop five years ago. She's an American citizen and said she's spent thousands trying to go through the legal process for her husband to be legal.
“They keep saying, ‘Do it legally, do it legally.’ Ironically there's a lack of process. I’ve been trying to do this for the past 10 years and my husband’s been separated from me for five. We committed no crime. The only crime my husband committed was having no documents but it wasn't because he didn't want to, it's because the government wouldn't allow it,” Garcia said.
An estimated three million families in the United States are being are being affected by immigration laws right now and are in the process of being deported or have been deported in the past.
WGN reached out to ICE for comment and they said they need to check into it.