In 2015, Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign by equating Mexican immigrants with drugs, violence and rape. Since being sworn in as President, his Administration has consistently expanded immigration enforcement and detention.
Is Chicago Really a "Sanctuary City"?
In the face of Trump’s dangerous rhetoric and policies, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continues to call Chicago a “sanctuary city”, welcoming of Latino immigrants and refusing to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Unfortunately, the reality is different.
The Chicago Police Department provides the information from an inaccurate and racially discriminatory “Gang Database” to ICE, causing individuals to be raided, detained, denied immigration relief and fast-tracked for deportation.
We are working with community activists and organizers to fight this unconstitutional practice. We brought suits on behalf of two young men whose false designation as gang members was provided to ICE.
ICE raids aren’t just happening in border communities and urban centers – but throughout the country.
In rural Mississippi, ICE agents are targeting communities of sweet potato farmers – against the wishes of many local residents and law enforcement. We are working to help residents understand their legal rights and learn how best to deal with immigration enforcement agents.
We have joined forces with local immigration experts to create HOLA – the Hotline for Oxford and Lafayette Advocates.Read our Know Your Rights brochure
Pedrote-Salinas v. Johnson
Luis’s parents brought him to Chicago from Mexico when he was 5 years old. He has lived in Chicago ever since, graduating from high school here and helping his parents care for his younger sibling. He has never belonged to a street gang. But because he is a young Latino man, an arrest for having an unopened can of beer in a car parked in what CPD deemed “gang territory,” landed him in the Gang Database. Luis’s information was given to ICE, which raided his family home, detained him for six months, and placed him in deportation proceedings.Learn More
Catalan-Ramirez v. Wong, et. al
Wilmer is a devoted father and husband. He worked full time in a body shop who has never been a member of a street gang. That didn’t stop CPD from listing him in the Gang Database and providing this false information to ICE.
He spent over ten months in solitary confinement – separated from his family, and denied necessary medical care to treat his severe medical conditions.
Working with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, we have secured Wilmer’s freedom – and cleared his name.
Chicagoans for an End to the Gang Database v. City of Chicago
The MacArthur Justice Center represents the Chicagoans for an End to the Gang Database, a coalition of individuals and community organizations, in a federal class action lawsuit against the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Department (CPD) targeting the widespread use of an inaccurate, racially discriminatory Gang Database.
In the news
Families ‘anguished’ after massive ICE raids in Mississippi sweep up nearly 700NBC News August 8, 2019
U.S. defends secretive Mississippi ICE raids as local, state officials decry effect on childrenThe Washington Post August 8, 2019
Lawsuit alleges Chicago Police Department’s massive gang database discriminatory, inaccurateChicago Tribune June 20, 2018
Chicago’s Gang Database Is Full of Errors — And Records We Have Prove ItProPublica June 19, 2018