This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.CHICAGO — Immigration and Customs Enforcement is pressing forward to arrest and deport families with court-ordered removals in 10 cities beginning Sunday, according to a senior immigration official, after President Donald Trump’s tweet revealing an operation was imminent. One of the cities expected to be targeted is Chicago. But acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has been hesitant about elements of the operation, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. ICE has said it was considering options to arrest and deport families who have gone through their legal proceedings but has refrained from publicly providing the scope and timeframe of the operation, which officials say could lead to a situation where a family is separated and could cause a backlash against the department. To that end, Trump’s tweet Monday night that ICE, the enforcement arm of DHS, was preparing to deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants next week was striking, given the figure and the decision to disclose an operation prior to its execution. “If you’re here illegally, then you should be removed,” acting head of ICE Mark Morgan told reporters Wednesday during a call prompted by the President’s tweet. “And in this case, that includes families.” A senior administration official told CNN the operation had been planned for some time, but said the tweet had put the operation at the forefront. “Certainly, the President’s tweet helped prioritize things for people,” the official said, adding that there had been internal debate about timing amid negotiations with Congress on additional funding and the upcoming 2020 budget. The official added that “there has been an effort to communicate what is likely to happen, without saying specifically when and where,” contrary to the “zero tolerance” policy which was done without much advance notice to the media or Capitol Hill. Field agents at local field offices are receiving briefings and trainings, according to a senior immigration official. There are also preparations being put in place for mixed-immigration status families: for example, if a parent is undocumented, but has a U.S. citizen child. “Due to law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to ongoing enforcement operations before the conclusion of those actions,” ICE said in a statement Friday. Read the full statement:
Due to law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to enforcement operations. As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. In fact, 90 percent of aliens arrested by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations component in FY2018 had either a criminal conviction(s), pending criminal charge(s), were an ICE fugitive, or illegally reentered the country after previously being removed. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and – if found removable by final order – removal from the United States.
Chicago mayor says police won’t assist ICE in migrant sweepChicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city has taken steps to support immigrant communities. She said the Chicago Police Department has terminated ICE’s access to the department’s databases related to immigration enforcement activities. She said CPD will not cooperate with or facilitate any ICE enforcement actions. “Chicago will always be a welcoming city and a champion for the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities,” she said. “I encourage any resident in need of legal aid to contact the National Immigrant Justice Center.” Read the full statement:
“We are all aware of the threat from President Trump regarding raids by ICE, and in response, Chicago has taken concrete steps to support our immigrant communities. I have directed – and Superintendent Johnson has confirmed – that CPD has terminated ICE’s access to CPD’s databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities. I have also personally spoken with ICE leadership in Chicago and voiced my strong objection to any such raids. Further, I reiterated that CPD will not cooperate with or facilitate any ICE enforcement actions. Chicago will always be a welcoming city and a champion for the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities, and I encourage any resident in need of legal aid to contact the National Immigrant Justice Center.”Two Chicago aldermen, Rosanna Rodriguez (33rd Ward) and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward) were handing out “Know Your Rights” cards at the Kimball CTA Brown Line Station Friday. Local immigrant rights groups have condemned the raid threats, and are encouraging families to create a safety plan and to know their rights. Ruth Lopez-McCarthy, the managing attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center Legal Protection Fund said it’s important that people know they have rights during any enforcement action regardless of their immigration status “They have the right to remain silent, they have a right to not open the door, always ask for an attorney,” she said. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a trio of new legislation to protect immigrant families. The new laws ban for-profit immigrant detention centers, prohibit local law enforcement agencies from coordinating with ICE and allow undocumented students to receive financial aid at public universities. “It’s shameful that this president tells our immigrant communities they don’t belong here. We want to say to the world that here in Illinois we won’t accept it,” the governor said.