What Happened to Detainees After Illinois ICE Centers Closed?

Mario A. Godoy
What Happened to Detainees After Illinois ICE Centers Closed?

Immigrant detention in Illinois has ended. The Illinois Way Forward Act ended ICE detention in Illinois. Before the new law went into effect, McHenry and Kankakee counties sued to try and prevent the loss of the contracts to hold immigrants in jail while awaiting deportation and processing. The lawsuit was dismissed, and the new law went into effect on January 13, and the counties had 30 days to close their ICE center. But what happened to the detainees after Illinois ICE detention centers closed? According to federal records,

• ICE released 41 of the 76 immigrants who had been in the McHenry and Kankakee county jails in mid-January.
• As of late January, there were 100 detainees remaining in Illinois ICE detention sites.
• As of February 5, there were 0 ICE detainees held in Illinois.
• 30 people who had been in ICE custody in Illinois were transferred to jails in Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
• The remaining detainees were deported or transferred to other law enforcement agencies.

For immigrants who had scheduled deportation hearings at the Chicago Immigration Court, their hearings were delayed and will be rescheduled in their new location. Detainees and their families also worried about their exposure to the Covid virus due to the transfer.

Illinois is one of four states that passed laws to ban both private and county-run immigration detention. The Illinois Forward Act strengthens the Illinois TRUST Act, which restricts local law enforcement from transferring undocumented immigrants over to federal agencies without a judicial warrant.

Chicago Deportation Defense Lawyer

A skilled deportation defense lawyer can help non-citizens facing the threat of deportation and find ways to help them legally remain in the United States. Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will and Lake Counties. To get started on your defense, call 630-912-0322 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced deportation defense attorneys today. 

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