Yesterday, the United States Department of Justice issued a preliminary determination asserting that both Chicago and Cook County are out of compliance with federal law regarding immigration enforcement.  Among other things, DOJ threatened Chicago and Cook County with loss of federal funds if they do not honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to notify ICE before releasing immigrants from custody. 

The City of Chicago has sued the DoJ over this issue and recently won a preliminary injunction barring the federal government from requiring such notice as a condition of receiving federal funds    

The following can be attributed to Rebecca Glenberg, Senior Staff Counsel at the ACLU of Illinois:

This decision is yet another indication of Trump’s and Sessions’ obsession with forcing all local law enforcement officials and departments to participate in the Trump Administration’s draconian immigration enforcement practices. The DOJ reads into federal law a requirement that all state and local governments comply with requests from ICE for advance notice of a detainee’s release – even though a federal judge ruled just last month that no such requirement exists.  In other words, Trump and Sessions are stretching the law to fit their view of immigration enforcement. 

As usual, Sessions attempts to justify this decision with unsubstantiated arguments about “public safety” that demonize immigrants.  Sessions conveniently ignores the experience of Chicago, Cook County, and many other communities that public safety is compromised when immigrants perceive that working with law enforcement may subject them to deportation.  

Chicago and Cook County should resist this preliminary finding. 

 

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