City Council strengthens immigrant protections while CPD partners with feds

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CHICAGO — A long list of measures were introduced to the Chicago City Council Wednesday and were approved.

On Wednesday, City Council passed an ordinance limiting the city from assisting in immigration enforcement operations. However, questions remain about a Chicago Police Department agreement with Homeland Security.

As City Council voted to strengthen the city’s sanctuary law, word of an agreement between Chicago police and the feds that could increase fear in the immigrant community.

Last April, former CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson signed an agreement with Homeland Security that would allow the agency to deputize certain CPD employees. However, they are not allowed to enforce violations of immigration law.

“To say that ICE is going to deputize police officers, Chicago police officers to do investigations in place of what ICE does, it’s concerning, Ald. Ariel Reboyras, 30th Ward, said.

Mayor Lightfoot stressed that immigrants in Chicago have nothing to fear.

“It specially states that they may not participate in ICE operations and the ordinance that passed today makes that abundantly clear,” Lightfoot said.

Ald. Gilbert Villegas also said there’s nothing to worry about.

“There has to be cooperation between CPD and homeland security,” he said. “I mean Chicago is the third largest city, I mean obviously would be a target for any type of terrorist group. And those are the type of services that the deputized CPD officers would be providing is ensuring that the city is safe from terrorists.”

Also Wednesday, was tense moments during debate about a study of LGBTQ businesses in Chicago. Some black alderman were concerned that set-asides for gay and transgender businesses could take away from programs designed to help other minorities.

“We want to make sure that everyone is included in whatever happens and not just one group or another,” Alderman Jason Ervin 28th Ward, said.

Lightfoot said it was shameful for a member of a community that gets discriminated against to “give indulgence to offensive words spoken by somewhere else.”

“It’s not the questions that are the problem. It is the content of the questions and the offensive nature of the tone and questions and the concerns that were expressed,” she said.

The mayor admonished black aldermen she said demonized the gay community.  The Council approved the study.


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