Illinois immigrant advocates and elected officials will spearhead resolutions in the city of Chicago and Cook County condemning a federal deportation crackdown on Central American migrants.
Advocates, including leaders with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), are set to join Illinois State Rep. Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez (D-Cicero), Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) at Chicago's City Hall Tuesday morning to announce the resolutions.
Earlier this month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials apprehended 121 undocumented adults and their children living in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina as part of "nationwide enforcement operations to take into custody and return at a greater rate adults who entered this country illegally with children," according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
ICE's actions come in response to the wave of Central American migrants, many fleeing violence in their home countries, who started arriving at the southern U.S. border in the spring of 2014.
"In response to these inhumane raids, both the Chicago City Council and the Cook County Board of Commissioners are introducing resolutions Wednesday that condemn these inhumane immigrant detention practices, reaffirm that each jurisdiction welcomes immigrants and offers refuge, and directs local law enforcement agencies to not cooperate in the raids," reads a news release from ICIRR. "State legislators are considering similar legislation."
UPDATE 1 (9:05 p.m.): House Democrats, including U.S. Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9), sent a letter to the president "condemning" the deportations on Central American migrants.
"We strongly condemn the Department of Homeland Security's recent enforcement operation targeting refugee mothers and children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala," the letter reads. "The DHS operation has generated widespread fear and panic in immigrant communities and has far-reaching impacts beyond the alleged targets for removal. The operation raises numerous due process concerns including meaningful access to legal counsel for mothers and children after apprehension and DHS officers reportedly using deceptive tactics to gain entrance into private residences. For these reasons and others, we believe that this operation should be immediately suspended until we can ensure no mother or child will be sent back to a country where they would face persecution, torture or death."
Read the full letter here.