ICE raids postponed for 2 weeks, Trump says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he has decided to delay Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids by two weeks. The raids were expected to take place on Sunday.

"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," the president's tweet read. "If not, Deportations start!"

As he left the White House to go to Camp David on Saturday, Trump said some cities, particularly sanctuary cities and cities that he classifies as "high crime," including Chicago, are fighting the planned immigration enforcement actions.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday that the Chicago Police Department would not cooperate with planned raids by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency this weekend.

"We are all aware of the threat from President Trump regarding raids by ICE, and in response, Chicago has taken concrete steps to support our immigrant communities," Lightfoot said in a statement.

City officials estimate that there are tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants living in Chicago, protected by sanctuary laws. Governor Pritzker signed two bills earlier Friday making it illegal for groups to establish detention centers or local law enforcement from making agreements with ICE.

RELATED: How immigration authorities make arrests, conduct raids

Lightfoot said Chicago police have terminated ICE's access to CPD's databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities. She has also instructed CPD not to cooperate with or facilitate any ICE enforcement actions.

"Chicago will always be a welcoming city and a champion for the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities," she said.

Mark Morgan, ICE acting director, told ABC News on Friday that the agency had plans to arrest more than 2,040 undocumented family members in 10 major cities across the country including Chicago, adding that "there has to be consequences" to entering the United States illegally.

Officials said the people targeted in these planned raids have already received deportation orders.

"Illegal aliens continue gaming the system by smuggling children to gain access to our country. After violating our laws, they further disrespect our country by refusing to show up for their hearings in court - so they are not even present when a judge orders them to be removed," ICE spokeswoman Carol Danko said in a statement on Saturday. "No American citizen can get away with breaking the law or violating a court order - and neither should illegal aliens. If Congress does not change the laws to ensure illegal aliens can be promptly removed at the southern border, there is no alternative but to continuously arrest these fugitive aliens in the interior."

"Right now, the greatest pull factors for families to come here is they know that once they arrive in the U.S., they remain here untouched," Morgan said. "We have to change that."

Aldermen who represent communities with large immigrant populations said they've heard from rattled constituents that they're canceling medical appointments and weekend plans for fear of being detained by ICE officials.

"I don't know how exactly we're going to make it through this, but I know very well that I have a lot of family members who are scared," said Andrew Alvarado, an Albany Park resident whose relatives emigrated from Central America. "My mother is currently trying to get my father papers through marriage. She became a citizen before he did."

Several aldermen have mobilized to make sure constituents are aware of their rights when confronted by an immigration official.

"You have a right not to open door to ice agents unless they have a warrant signed by a judge," said Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, who represents the 35th Ward.

"We believe that one immigrant that is taken from our community is way too many," said Alderman Rossana Rodriguez, of the 33rd Ward.

After Trump's announcement Saturday, Ramirez-Rosa issued another statement calling the postponement "a win for the tens of thousands of people that mobilized across our nation to defend our communities from ICE."

Some Chicago politicians aren't pleased with the postponement.

"He's clearly not a conservative politician. I do not trust him as being a conservative politician," said Carl Segvich, an 11th Ward committeeman. "I think he's using it as a bargaining chip; I don't think he's gonna go through on it."
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