Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote a letter to President Donald Trump on Sunday telling him exactly why, in no uncertain terms, Chicago police would not be assisting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with the promised raids.
In the letter, Lightfoot explained that last Friday she ordered the city police department “not to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on any activities within the city of Chicago and not to allow ICE agents access to our police databases.”
“Our law department issued new specific protocols advising all personnel working at city-owned facilities, including libraries, Park District buildings, senior centers and schools, not to cooperate with ICE. And we significantly increased funding for the city’s legal defense fund to offset legal costs for undocumented Chicagoans,” Lightfoot continued.
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The powerful letter came after threats from the administration to flood 10 major cities with ICE raids and round up thousands of undocumented migrants. But so far, that hasn’t happened in a big way.
But there have only been a few raids across the country because federal law enforcement officials told The Washington Post they worried that the public disclosure of the plan endangered officers and threatened their effectiveness.
The president has been threatening to deport “millions” of people who are in the United States illegally, including specifically targeting families who entered the country recently and have received deportation orders.
But in her letter, Lightfoot said what most economists, activists, citizens, and politicians have been saying – the U.S. needs immigrants for a strong economy.
“They came to the United States in search of a better life, free from violence, crushing poverty and oppressive governments that restrict their basic rights. They work in our local businesses, they build and repair our streets, buildings and other infrastructure,” Lightfoot wrote.
“Attacking these members of our communities also hurts our local economy, because they are at times afraid to go outside to shop for the necessities of life.”