President Donald Trump says Democrats have two weeks to approve more funding for border protection or widespread deportations could begin in Chicago and other cities.
Last week, Trump tweeted that immigration authorities will “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.”
But he backpedaled last weekend, saying on Twitter the raids could be avoided “if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!”
The dramatic change came a day after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot reaffirmed Chicago’s status as a sanctuary city.
”I have directed – and Superintendent (Eddie) Johnson has confirmed – that (the Chicago Police Department) has terminated (Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s) access to CPD’s databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities,” she said. “I have also personally spoken with ICE leadership in Chicago and voiced my strong objection to any such raids. Further, I reiterated that CPD will not cooperate with or facilitate any ICE enforcement actions.”
Gabe Gonzalez, a cofounder of immigrant advocacy group Protect Rogers Park, praised Lightfoot’s actions, calling them “courageous.”
“I’m really grateful to Mayor Lightfoot for what she’s done. It’s more than just making the statements and making the policies clear. She went out of her way over the course of a couple of days to be present in immigrant communities and to be standing alongside other leaders,” he said.
But 11th Ward Republican Commiteeman Carl Segvich, a conservative activist, disagrees.
“Federal immigration law states clearly that [Lightfoot] cannot block information going from CPD to our federal authorities,” he said. “She is clearly obstructing justice.”