Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed changes to the city’s Welcoming City Ordinance that would end the Chicago Police Department’s limited cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. The exception to the ordinance currently permits Chicago police officers to cooperate with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) if the targeted individuals are:
• listed in the city’s gang database
• have pending felony prosecutions or prior felony convictions
• are the subject of an outstanding criminal warrant
Immigration advocates say violations have occurred when Chicago police made a stop, ran a criminal background check and found a deportation order. There was no specific standard on what police should do, and under the Trump administration, there has been increasing pressure from ICE to turn them over to federal officials.
The proposal prohibits city agencies from detaining people solely because they might be in the U.S. without legal permission, or transferring anyone to ICE custody for immigration enforcement. The Chicago Police Department will also be required to document all requests for assistance from ICE.
The result of the loophole was that undocumented individuals were fearful of reporting a crime and were taken advantage of because they feared deportation. The closed loophole will mean that Chicago police will not be allowed to cooperate with ICE on federal immigration law enforcement in any situation.
In 2019, Chicago was named the most immigrant-friendly city in the United States. 51 factors were used to determine how well cities are creating environments that help immigrants succeed, including a city’s language access policies, employment and homeownership rates. Chicago scored 4.38 out of a total possible 5.0 points, an increase from 2018’s rating of 3.80.
Chicago is a safe-haven sanctuary city and immigrants make up more than 1/5 of Chicago’s population.
Mario Godoy and the other experienced immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and application status. With experience in many different types of immigration cases and an understanding of the impact of new immigration regulations, it can be beneficial for you to contact an immigration lawyer today. Please call us at 630-912-0322 to discuss your case.
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Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Lake Counties.