CHICAGO (CBS) — The Trump administration last week announced a controversial plan to send armed SWAT-like teams of Border Patrol agents to Chicago and at least nine other so-called sanctuary cities.
On Friday night, Mayor Lori Lightfoot ripped into the plan for creating a climate of fear in the city.
The plan is set to begin this month and last until May. At least 100 agents will be sent to cities like Chicago and others across the country.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli on Sunday night introduced us to one family that is already worried as Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds a husband and father.
Zoe Torres has been clinging to her mom since the middle of last week.
“Your 3-year-old is asking, ‘Where is her dad?’” said Carolina Larios of Woodlawn. “You know, what do you say?”
It’s a tough question to answer, because Zoe’s dad is in jail. He has been there since Wednesday, when he was arrested by ICE agents while attempting to drop his step-daughter off at school.
“He told him to get out the car, and then they just put him in handcuffs,” said stepdaughter Maya Chavez, 15.
How tough was that?
“Very,” Chavez said.
Maya’s stepdad is Julio Torres. He was brought to the U.S. by his parents when he was 12 years old.
Now, 22 years later, he finds himself in a jail in Kenosha, Wisconsin, facing possible deportation to Mexico.
Chavez said watching her 34 year old stepdad being led away in cuffs was traumatic.
“I just think it’s unfair,” she said. “He didn’t do anything.”
Larios said that’s true. She even showed CBS 2 the provisional unlawful presence waiver issued to her husband by United States Department of Homeland Security.
“He’s not a bad person. He’s not a criminal. He didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. “We did everything we were supposed to do by law. We apply. We pay fees. We gave $10,000 to this attorney so he could help us.”
But on Wednesday morning, that didn’t matter. And now, the Trump administration plans to send tactical teams from border areas to sanctuary cities like Chicago to help round up undocumented residents.
“If (President Trump) does that, the people they’re going to be terrorized,” said one man who did not want his face shown. “They’re not going to walk in the streets anymore.”
Trump administration officials say Sanctuary Cities make it impossible for ICE agents to do their jobs. But Larios said her husband’s case shows how even people who work through the system get punished in the current climate.
“He’s obviously really upset,” Larios said. “He misses us. He just wants to be home.”
And they want him home too.
“It’s very unnecessary, especially for my stepdad. They try and make it seem as if he’s a bad person, but really, we’re just here to try to live and make a better life,” Chavez said.
“I don’t know what it is that we are doing so wrong here I don’t get it. I don’t get it,” Larios added. “Why now? Why come and take him like that?”
CBS 2 reached out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and had yet to hear back Sunday night.