Ahead of ICE raids, Illinois governor bans private immigrant detention centers from state

With mass raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) planned for Sunday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) signed a bill Friday that will make his state the first in the country to ban private immigration detention centers.

“Illinois is and always will be a welcoming state,” said Gov. JB Pritzker in a statement on Friday. “Let me be perfectly clear: the state of Illinois stands as a firewall against Donald Trump’s attacks on our immigrant communities. In the face of attempts to stoke fear, exploit division, and force families into the shadows, we are taking action.”

The ICE raids — known as “family op” — are scheduled to begin before dawn on Sunday in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco.

They will target up to 2,000 families who have already received deportation orders.

According to the Washington Post, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has urged ICE to narrow the raids to just 150 families who abandoned legal proceedings after being provided with attorneys.

These raids will likely result in additional family separation, and the arrest of many people who have not been presented with deportation orders — something ICE considers “collateral arrests.”


The Washington Post reports that ICE plans to temporarily house the immigrants it rounds up in hotels. Increasingly, ICE has begun relying on private, for-profit detention centers to hold immigrants, which is why Pritzker decided to push forward this legislation prohibiting such facilities from operating in Illinois. The bills he signed on Friday also prohibit local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with ICE, and allows undocumented students to receive MAP grants for college.

“We will not allow private entities to profit off of the intolerance of this president. We will not allow local police departments act as an extension of ICE,” Pritzker said. “And we will ensure that every student in this state who wants to go to college should be able to do so without saddling themselves with debt for the rest of their lives.”

Many democratic presidential candidates have spoken out against these planned raids.

“Deporting hundreds of families—separating more children from their parents in the process—is inhumane,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted on Friday. “Our immigration policies should reflect America’s values, not betray them.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said, “Millions of people will enter this weekend filled with fear. Children who are U.S. citizens will wonder if their mothers will be ripped from home in the pre-dawn hours before church on Sunday. And why? So Trump can vilify immigrants as part of a political campaign. It’s shameful.”

On Saturday, President Donald Trump defended his plan on Twitter.

“The people that Ice will apprehend have already been ordered to be deported. This means that they have run from the law and run from the courts. These are people that are supposed to go back to their home country. They broke the law by coming into the country, & now by staying,” he said.

UPDATE: On Saturday afternoon, Trump announced via Twitter that he was cancelling the ICE raids until the July 4th holiday weekend “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.”

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