CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) sounded the alarm about an ICE sighting in his ward Thursday, but enforcement action never happened.
Sigcho-Lopez went as far as putting out a warning on Twitter that read “Our Office has received reports that ICE is approaching businesses and homes in Pilsen today.”
Our office has received reports that ICE is approaching businesses and homes in Pilsen today. We’ve confirmed these reports with the National Immigrant Justice Center.
— Alderman Byron Sigcho Lopez for the 25th Ward (@SigchoFor25) August 8, 2019
The alderman followed his tweet up by dispatching a rapid response team in the Pilsen community.
“It concerned us they were in the community,” he said.
He said his office confirmed ICE reports with the National Immigrant Justice Center.
“When these kind of organizations call my office to notify a public official we have a responsibility,” he said.
Sigcho-Lopez later tweeted, “My team and I went to the area where these reports originated and it appears there is no longer ICE presence l. It’s important to note that there were not any reported detainments.”
Now Sigcho-Lopez is standing behind those choices despite backlash that they caused fear in a community on edge, with legitimate ICE activity reported across the country.
“I feel very comfortable about our decision that we needed to make sure our communities were protected,” he said. “I understand the different views. The reality is we live in very dark times in our country. I don’t think this is any joke. So I take those calls seriously.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot acknowledged this Friday, confirming that ICE officials, in full uniform were in town yesterday but only for lunch.
There did not appear to have been any official ICE operations in the Pilsen area on Thursday.
A spokesperson for ICE issued a statement to WBBM radio:
“ICE performs daily, targeted immigration enforcement operations, which maintain the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and also help improve public safety by removing criminal aliens from local communities.”