Police in Chicago were warned not to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on issues of immigration.
The Chicago Police Department (CPD)sent a memo, obtained by Fox News, to officers in late September telling them to wait for a supervisor to arrive before assisting DHS. Upon arrival, the supervisor will direct CPD officers to leave the scene, “if the request is to assist with an immigration arrest or detention. Fox News confirmed the authenticity of the memo but could not determine whether Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was behind the directive.
Several sources within the CPD told Fox that the new policy puts both departments at risk.
“See what happens when that happens and a DHS agent is injured because of a lack of response by CPD. Sickening what’s happening here,” one source told the outlet.
“You’ll not find a single real police officer that would refuse to assist another agency,” said another.
Chicago is one of at least 36 sanctuary cities in the United States that refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency within DHS. In addition to dozens of cities, whole counties and states are also considered to be sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.
A DHS spokesperson told Fox that the memo to Chicago police officers was dangerous.
“The Department of Homeland Security is deeply concerned with the dangerous anti-law enforcement direction given by the leadership of the Chicago Police Department. The men and women of ICE put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizens of this country from dangerous criminals,” the spokesperson told the outlet. “Failing to support fellow law enforcement officers upon request for assistance not only places our heroic police officers in greater danger but keeps criminals on the streets and makes all of our communities less safe, specifically the great City of Chicago.”
The CPD told the outlet that law enforcement would assist a federal agent who is in danger but would not assist in the arrest. Instead, they will “advise and leave the scene.”
The new policy for CPD came around the same time that a Virginia police officer was suspended for cooperating with ICE.
The officer was suspended after responding to a vehicle crash. During routine license checks, the officer discovered that one of the drivers had a warrant out for his arrest for failing to appear for a deportation hearing. The officer notified the ICE contact listed on the notification of the warrant, who was nearby. The officer then arrested the driver and turned them over to the ICE agent.
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said in a statement that officer violated a department order requiring them to ignore such a notification unless the person in question is “being taken into custody for any other violation of law.” Roessler emphasized in his statement that officers are extensively trained on this distinction and that the suspended officer “deprived a person of their freedom, which is unacceptable.”
The arrested driver spent three hours in custody and was released.