Chicago mayor says city won't cooperate over reported ICE raids

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) said she would take “concrete steps” to support immigrant communities after reports emerged that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would begin raids this weekend to round up families who have received deportation orders.

Lightfoot said in a statement Friday that she directed Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to terminate ICE’s access to the Chicago Police Department’s databases related to immigration enforcement activities.

“I have also personally spoken with ICE leadership in Chicago and voiced my strong objection to any such raids,” Lightfoot tweeted.

“Chicago will always be a welcoming city and a champion for the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities, and I encourage any resident in need of legal aid to contact the National Immigrant Justice Center.”

The ICE operation set to begin Sunday is reportedly expected to target up to 2,000 families facing deportation orders in up to 10 cities with large immigrant communities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles. 

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE first announced Monday that ICE will begin deporting "millions" of undocumented immigrants next week.

"Next week ICE 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," Trump tweeted.

ICE has been preparing agents and equipment for the multi-day operation and is planning to use hotels as temporary staging areas to detain parents and children until all the family are together and ready for deportation, according to The Washington Post

“Due to law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to enforcement operations before the conclusion of those actions,” ICE spokesperson Matthew Bourke said in a statement to The Hill.

“As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who have received criminal convictions; have pending criminal charges; are determined to be a national security or public safety threat; or are an immigration fugitive.”

Democrats have come out in force against the plan, saying it is part of Trump’s effort to double down on his hardline stance on immigration ahead of the 2020 race.

“Millions of people will enter this weekend filled with fear. Children who are U.S. citizens will wonder if their mothers will be ripped from home in the pre-dawn hours before church on Sunday. And why? So Trump can vilify immigrants as part of a political campaign. It's shameful,” Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE (D-Calif.), who is running to challenge Trump in 2020, tweeted.