ICE Plan to Deputize Chicago Police as Customs Officers

Mario A. Godoy
ICE Plan to Deputize Chicago Police as Customs Officers

An agreement signed by former Chicago Police Department Superintendent of Police Eddie Johnson in April allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to “designate certain employees” of the Chicago police as customs officers. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and police officials are saying the agreement is to combat anti-terrorism and gang violence, but some activists aren’t buying it.

A copy of the agreement was shared with the media, and said those officers are “authorized to enforce the full range of federal offenses” but are not allowed to “enforce administrative violations of immigration law.”

Chicago Is A Sanctuary City

When the agreement was made public, immigration activists proposed amendments to Chicago’s sanctuary city Welcoming Cities ordinance that would bar CPD from assisting ICE, Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations in enforcing civil immigration operations and require that the department keep track of every request for assistance it receives.

Chicago’s City Council approved an ordinance on January 15, 2020, to limit “city entities and employees from assisting” with immigration enforcement operations or sharing data with ICE. Lightfoot said,

“The [agreement] is around Homeland Security, which is a distinct and separate activity. It specifically states that they may not participate in immigration enforcement activities. And the ordinance that passed today makes that abundantly clear.” 

Chicago was named the most immigrant-friendly city in America in 2020, and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot have continued to proclaim that Illinois and Chicago are welcoming to undocumented immigrants.

The immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Chicago and Lombard can help you with your immigration case. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at 855-554-6369. 

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