Our Pledge To You

Letters to the Editor

Chicago police should never cooperate with ICE

In this Nov. 16, 2018, file photo, an immigrant who entered the United States illegally is checked before boarding a deportation flight to El Salvador by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Houston. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the face of President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policy. But agency officials say their mandate is misunderstood. Government data shows ICE is mostly targeting criminals, but also that the agency has greatly ramped up overall arrests and increased the number of people arrested solely on immigration violations. And the most frequent criminal conviction was for drunken driving. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) ORG XMIT: LONG404

In this Nov. 16, 2018, file photo, an immigrant who entered the U.S. illegally is checked before boarding a deportation flight to El Salvador by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some activists want to get rid of all rules that allow Chicago police to cooperate with ICE. | AP Photo/David J. Phillip,

As an organizer within Chicago’s immigrant community, I read with interest the Sun-Times editorial regarding where the mayoral candidates stand on the Welcoming City ordinance. The current ordinance allows four instances in which Chicago police can collaborate and communicate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Sun-Times argues that three of these exceptions should be removed but that immigrants with felony records should not be protected.

The ordinance states that protections do not apply when an individual “has been convicted of a felony…” no matter how long ago, what the conviction was for, or what the person has done subsequently. Given the Trump policy of detaining children and charging their parents with felonies for simply seeking asylum at the border, we should be wary of what felony convictions actually mean. We ought not presume that anyone with a felony has “worn out their welcome.”

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What ICE is asking of the police has been ruled unconstitutional. Immigration detainers allow police to hold immigrants without probable cause, even after posting bail. Courts throughout the country have found that such holds violate the rights of the detained. Even persons with felonies have constitutional rights, and CPD should never be complicit in violating them.

The criminal justice and immigration systems should not be intertwined. Why allow exceptions? We welcome immigrants. We respect and defend the civil and constitutional rights of all communities.

We agree with candidates Lori Lightfoot, Toni Preckwinkle and Amara Enyia, who support the elimination of all exceptions to the welcoming ordinance, to stop police from doing the work of federal agents, and to protect individuals’ rights to due process. We can make Chicago a true sanctuary for immigrants.

Reyna Wences
Immigration Working Group

Rich folks and teacher raises

When asked how a 5 percent pay raise for Chicago Public Schools teachers would be paid for, a union representative answered “rich people,” but then went on to include corporate taxes and revenue from legal recreational marijuana, legal sports betting, and a Chicago casino. Never mind that higher corporate taxes are just passed on to everyone in the form of higher prices. What’s really going on is that we’re counting on people getting high and gambling to pay our teachers.

Mike Davis, Irving Park