Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, signed a bill on Friday that bans privately run migrant detention centers in the state on the eve of an expected federal law enforcement operation across the country on Sunday to detain and remove migrants who have been denied asylum and ordered deported.
These individuals, which could include people who brought their children to the United States, have failed to comply with deportation orders and are now in numerous American cities.
Not all of these migrants are family units, but the media is portraying the work Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does to protect citizens in the interior of the country as an effort to target parents and their children.
Today, in a huge victory for all in our communities, @GovPritzker signed several bills that protect immigrant rights in Illinois! NIJC is proud to be a member of the Campaign for a #WelcomingIL which advocated tirelessly for these protections. pic.twitter.com/kWsdh8w0kO
— National Immigrant Justice Center (@NIJC) June 21, 2019
The media and open-borders immigration groups have condemned the law enforcement operation, claiming it is designed to frighten immigrants and separate families and characterizing the plan as “raids.”
“Illinois is and always will be a welcoming state,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Let me be perfectly clear: the state of Illinois stands as a firewall against Donald Trump’s attacks on our immigrant communities. In the face of attempts to stoke fear, exploit division, and force families into the shadows, we are taking action.”
“This is not about fear,” Mark Morgan, acting director of ICE, told ABC News. “No one is instilling fear in anyone.”
“This is about the rule of law and maintaining the integrity of the system,” Morgan said.
The Hill reported:
The bill’s signing makes Illinois the first state to forbid such detention centers. Pritzker also signed legislation that bars local law enforcement agencies from engaging in federal immigration enforcement with ICE and allows undocumented students to receive certain grants and other aid at public institutions.
The federal government has increasingly turned to private detention centers to house immigrants, particularly close to the southern border, as it struggles to deal with a rise in migrants entering the country.
The Illinois Democrat cast the pieces of legislation as efforts to “protect Illinois’ immigrant community amid growing attacks from the federal government.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, also a Democrat, has directed Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to stop giving ICE access to the Chicago Police Department’s databases related to immigration enforcement, according to the Hill report.
“Chicago will always be a welcoming city and a champion for the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities, and I encourage any resident in need of legal aid to contact the National Immigrant Justice Center,” Lightfoot said on Friday.
The operations are expected to take place in major U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Miami, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City and San Francisco.
On Saturday the president suspended his intended operations to deport illegal aliens under orders to depart. Trump wrote in a tweet:
At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2019