Agreement allows ICE to deputize Chicago police as ‘customs officers’

CHICAGO — Some immigrants rights activists are concerned about an agreement between Chicago police and federal authorities that allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deputize Chicago Police Department employees as “customs officers.”

Those officers are “authorized to enforce the full range of federal offenses” but are not allowed to “enforce administrative violations of immigration law.”

The Chicago Sun-Times obtained a copy of the agreement, which was signed last April by former Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says no department employees are currently deputized as “customs officers.”

But Guglielmi defends the agreement, saying it allows police to investigate drug trafficking and other crimes through Homeland Security Investigations, a branch of ICE.

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