February 22, 2017 Chicago Public School principals have been instructed not to let federal immigration authorities inside school buildings unless they have a criminal warrant. Chicago Public School District guidelines direct principals to contact attorneys if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrive at the school. Immigration agents are to be instructed to wait outside while CPS lawyers review the matter.
Chicago Public School principals were also urged to have parents update student emergency contact forms and include backup contacts in case parents are detained.
The action comes on the heels of the two memos signed by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly obtained by CNN over the weekend revealed new immigration protocil which vastly expands the types of crimes to be considered for the deportation of criminal aliens.
Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. One week after Donald Trump was elected President in November, 2016, Mayor Emanuel promised to protect immigrants from deportation. For decades, the city of Chicago has been a sanctuary city, where local laws prohibit government workers and police officers from asking about residents’ immigration status.
Chicago and other sanctuary cities across the country anticipated stricter immigration policies if Trump was elected. On the campaign trail leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump pledged to remove as many as 3 million immigrants who have criminal records living in the country illegally.
On Valentines Day, CTA riders expressed fear and confusion after encountering a security checkpoint—which included bag checks and U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel—at the Addison Street Red Line stop. A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department confirmed the DHS presence at the CTA Addison Red Line stop, adding that similar checks took place on February 8, at Merchandise Mart, and February 10, at Clark and Lake in Chicago.
Some witnesses took to Twitter to report the incident, saying that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took part in the Valentines Day Red Line stop searches and were targeting people of Hispanic and Middle Eastern descent. ICE spokeswoman, Gail Montenegro denied the agency was involved with the checks at the CTA Red Line station–and the agency criticized media reports for causing unnecessary alarm in the already frightened undocumented immigrant community.
Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."