The following statement can be attributed to Karen Sheley, Police Practices Project Director at the ACLU of Illinois:

Jeff Sessions demonstrated again today that he does not understand that effective policing requires trust and cooperation with the community. In particular, he used his remarks today to criticize Chicago’s efforts to be a welcoming city for newcomers and refugees, and suggested that those modest policies help explain the City’s high violent crime rate.This ignores the reality on the ground in Chicago. 

Since the onset of the Trump Administration, reports indicate that many in Chicago’s immigrant communities stopped contacting the police and report crimes because they are afraid of being targeted for detention and deportation. No one should risk losing their homes and families because they report a crime.

Sessions also conveniently ignores that he is personally blocking a necessary step to fixing Chicago’s violent crime issue – police reform. The Department of Justice that Sessions leads issued a report in January of this year making clear that crime would be reduced by putting in place reforms at the CPD. 

The Attorney General had an opportunity to take action on this pressing problem. Instead, without so much as reading the DOJ report, he declared that he would not take the necessary steps – reaching a consent decree with the City to enforce police reform in Chicago.  

Falsely blaming newcomers and refugees won’t fix the problems of crime in Chicago.