CHICAGO (WLS) -- Immigrant families in Chicago are being reminded to know their rights after the Trump administration announced it will redirect agents from a Border Patrol unit to sanctuary cities.
It is an elite tactical unit in charge of border security. BORTAC is essentially the SWAT team of the Border Patrol. Now, in what appears to be the Trump administration's latest move to crack down on illegal immigration, some of these officers will be deployed to Chicago among other cities nationwide.
"Tragically there are many cities in America where radical politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal illegal aliens," said President Donald Trump.
ICE said the deployment comes in response to policies adopted by sanctuary cities which have made it harder for immigration agents to do their jobs. Mayor Lori Lightfoot was quick to respond Friday, as soon as the first reports surfaced.
"We will not be bullied, period. Especially by a bully like President Trump who trades in hatred and scare tactics," said Lightfoot.
Elected officials and others in Chicago's immigrant community joined their voices Friday, calling on people to mobilize but not panic. Recent attempts at aggressive enforcement by ICE have faltered, such as a series of threatened raids last summer.
"I'm telling everyone not to panic. To inhale, to exhale. To breathe, breath. These are just tactics," said Cecilia Garcia from Familia Latina Unida.
"It's very hard to tell people they're safe when it's actually the President of the United States making these threats," said Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez, 33rd Ward.
Activists and attorneys today reminded undocumented immigrants of their rights should ICE or Border Patrol agents come knocking.
"They have to have a signed warrant from a judge and they almost never do because it's too much work for them, so I would never engage with them in any way. Even as an undocumented immigrant you're protected against unlawful, searches and seizures," said Chris Bergin, immigration attorney.
In all, about 100 Border Patrol agents are expected to be deployed in sanctuary cities nationwide. This deployment is taking place between now and the end of May.
Activists urge anyone with concerns to attend an upcoming "Know your Rights" workshop:
Saturday, February 22, 2020
11:30 am at Robles de Justicia
4013 W Armitage
Chicago, IL 60639
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Noon at Lincoln United Methodist Church
2242 S Damen
Chicago, IL 60608
Trump administration deploys elite Border Patrol agents to sanctuary cities, including Chicago