Thousands gather to protest ICE raids

Mike Rundle

By Mike Rundle and Steven Nunez

Crowds gathered Saturday in Daley Plaza to protest raids by Immigrant and Customs Enforcement that are reportedly beginning Sunday, as ordered by President Donald Trump.

After initially delaying the raids, Trump gave the go-ahead Friday to deport immigrants with outstanding removal orders in an attempt to target criminals, but Trump’s critics said the raids may also target families. Trump has not yet detailed the exact time the raids will begin.

As mayor of a sanctuary city, Lori Lightfoot instructed Chicago police not to cooperate with ICE officials or allow them access to databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities. Lightfoot said she would not attend the protest in Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., opting instead to visit neighborhoods to speak directly to people “who are afraid.”

To protest these policies, Indivisible Chicago, as well as more than 15 regional progressive advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and Amnesty International, organized the event, attended by thousands in the Loop.

“Asians, Latinos, Muslims, women, LGBT people—all of our rights are under attack,” U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Chicago) said during the rally. “Look around you; look at the community that we have built here in the Chicagoland community. This is family that’s around us.”

The protest is another in a long list of demonstrations that have taken place in Chicago expressing disapproval with the Trump administration and its policies.

“I’m an immigrant,” said Annie Lee, one of the protesters. “We’re not trying to do anything crazy. We’re just trying to live, and so is everybody else.”