CHICAGO (CBS) — As the Trump administration doubles down on its threat to launch an operation to deport thousands of undocumented immigrants nationwide, activist groups in Chicago want to make sure immigrants know their rights if their homes are raided.
Immigrant groups rallied outside the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office in Chicago on Thursday, a day after Acting USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli said immigration raids “absolutely” would be happening.
The Trump administration has not said when Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids would begin, but the New York Times reports they could begin as soon as Sunday, targeting 2,000 people who already face deportation orders.
This comes nearly three weeks after President Donald Trump delayed plans for ICE raids ahead of the 4th of July holiday.
What makes the raids different this time is they could include what are called collateral arrests. That means an undocumented immigrant who is not a target of an arrest, but is in the same place where a raid takes place, could still be taken into custody.
“No matter what your status is in this country, you have rights. You have the right to privacy; whether it’s in your home, in your car, in the street. There needs to be a warrant for an individual to try to arrest you, especially in your home. You do not have to open the door to anyone who comes to your home if they do not have a warrant,” said National Immigrant Justice Center attorney Ruth Lopez-McCarthy.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said the Chicago Police Department will not cooperate in any way with ICE raids and has cut off the agency from accessing its databases.
The mayor said the city will take a strong stance to protect families being separated by the deportation operation.
“There’s a lot of fear out there, and what’s most distressing to me is the fear in the hearts and in the eyes of children. We know that a lot of these immigrant communities, young people – as young as 10, 11, 12 who may be English speakers – who are the translators for their parents that are getting exposed to this trauma and worry at such a young age,” she said. “I’ve heard young people speaking about the fear that they have that when they go off to school they may be coming home to an empty house, because their parents may have been taken away by ICE. That is the real tangible harm that is being done.”
Meantime President Trump tweeted Thursday morning he will hold a news conference on the 2020 Census and the citizenship question he wants added to it. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has barred the question for now, but the president has said he might issue an executive order or memorandum to try to force the issue.