Chicago’s Protections for Felons, Gang Members Ensures Zero Criminal Illegal Aliens are Turned Over to Feds

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JULY 28: Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduces Jazmine Sullivan during 2022 Lollapalooza day one at Grant Park on July 28, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

The sanctuary city of Chicago is turning zero criminal illegal aliens over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency for arrest and deportation in part thanks to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s (D) protections for gang members and felons.

In the third quarter of 2022, city records show that none of the three ICE detainers filed with Chicago police — requesting custody of criminal illegal aliens — were honored. Likely hundreds, potentially thousands, more illegal aliens were arrested in Chicago during the period, but ICE agents have been restricted in issuing detainers by the Biden administration.

The refusal to honor any ICE detainers by Chicago officials is the result of Lightfoot’s expanded sanctuary city policy.

In February 2021, Lightfoot signed the expansion, which prohibited local police from cooperating with ICE even in cases where arrested illegal aliens are in the gang database, are convicted felons, have pending criminal charges, or have outstanding warrants.

Lightfoot’s expansion came after former Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) signed Chicago’s initial sanctuary city policy into law in 2012 which prohibited police from questioning suspects about their immigration status.

Emanuel’s sanctuary city policy was later expanded in 2016 to mandate that “city employees treat documented and undocumented immigrants with respect and dignity.”


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