After President Trump announced that ICE will raid “millions” of cities starting Sunday, Chicago alderman took to the streets and showed protection for its large immigrant community.
The mass removal could target up to 2,000 undocumented individuals who received letters in February from ICE, according to CNN. Officials said the operation has been under negotiations for a while but is now coming to the surface.
Logan Square alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward) and Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd Ward) went out to the Kimball Brown Line and handed out “Know Your Rights” flyers to residents during rush hour. The large crowd took flyers from both aldermen, who spoke to media about ways immigrants can protect themselves from ICE.
“As a representative of the immigrant community, [we are here] to condemn Donald Trump’s promise of immigration raids in communities like our own and to ensure residents are aware of their constitutional rights,” said Ramirez-Rosa. “Everyone, regardless of their immigration background, has constitutional rights.”
He urged residents to not open the door to ICE agents unless they have a warren signed by a judge.
“We know from history that most agents do not come to your door with a warrant signed by a judge,” he said.
He added that agents can easily get into apartment buildings if they are not locked; he reminded landlords and tenants to make sure apartment buildings have locks.
“We believe one immigrant taken from our community is too many,” said Rodriquez-Sanchez said.
Ramirez-Rosa said there are about 100,000 undocumented people in the city but he is not sure how many will be affected by the weekend raid. The Washington Post and the Guardian reported the raids will start Sunday but Ramirez-Rosa said it could start as early as tomorrow, per his sources in Washington.
Mayor Lightfoot, also a Logan Square resident, quickly responded to the news on Twitter, as did Chicago Police Spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi. According to Ramirez-Rosa, she attended the Chicago Immigration Policy Working Group meeting for the first time.
“We collaboratively discussed actions [the] City can take to protect immigrants from anticipated Trump raids,” he added.
Lightfoot tweeted 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,” she said. “Further, I reiterated that CPD will not cooperate with or facilitate any ICE enforcement actions.”
Lightfoot urged immigrants to know their rights and to remember that Chicago will always welcome them. The aldermen echoed a similar sentiment, saying that if anyone feels unsafe this weekend, sees a raid or hears about ICE agents, they should call 1-855-HELP-MY-FAMILY (1-855-435-7693). The support hotline is championed by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
Rodriguez and Ramirez-Rosa plan to host a bigger canvas tomorrow to spread word about knowing your rights to immigrant communities in Logan Square, Albany Park and other Northwest Side communities. Check out event details here.
Featured photo: Tom Vlodek