For many families and business owners across Chicago and surrounding parts of Illinois, the threat of immigration raids is a seemingly constant one. Many immigrant families and business owners would be wise to prepare themselves for such raids, given the current presidential administration’s plans to move ahead with deportation roundups. According to CBS Chicago, immigration activists have ramped up their efforts to connect with immigrant communities in recent days so they can inform as many immigrants as possible about their legal rights.
Immigrants with criminal backgrounds will likely be among the administration’s first targets, and immigrant activists are warning them against doing anything that could potentially hurt their situations, such as signing any documents they do not fully understand. Activists and immigration attorneys are also cautioning against opening doors to anyone who claims to work for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement without first verifying not only who they are, but that they have a warrant with them.
Per WBEZ, some immigration advocates are also training non-English-speaking immigrants to memorize key phrases about exercising their rights to remain silent and refusing to answer any questions without representation. While Chicago and the state of Illinois are known as “sanctuaries” for immigrants, federal agents can still arrest undocumented immigrants who live in them and, ultimately, deport them.
This is not the first time the current administration has announced intentions to conduct mass immigration raids through major cities including Chicago. Business owners in many parts of the city have noticed a decline in business in recent weeks, and some believe they can attribute the decline to people being fearful of leaving their homes.