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Illinois bans private immigration centers as ICE raids loom



D emocratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law Friday that bans private immigration detention centers from the state, making Illinois the first state to take such a measure.

 J. B. Pritzker mug
J.B. Pritzker
              

(AP Photo / Amr Alfiky)
              

The bill, HB 2040, was one of three measures to protect undocumented immigrants. The other two bills Pritzker signed prohibit local law enforcement officers from working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement offers to target migrants in the state and allow undocumented students to receive financial aid at public institutions.

Illinois is bracing itself for mass raids that ICE plans to carry out in many cities, including Chicago, beginning this weekend.

The government has been turned to private detention centers to house migrants who entered the country illegally, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection struggles to keep up with the influx of migrants at the southern border who need shelter. Advocates for undocumented immigrants have criticized the Trump administration for treating migrants cruelly at these border shelters.

"Illinois is always going to be a welcoming state," Pritzker said in a statement 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 imminent ICE operation, set to start Sunday, aims to up to 2,000 undocumented immigrants in up to 10 cities.

President Trump defended the agency's actions, tweeting, "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 who are supposed to go back to their home country. They broke the law by coming into the country, & now by staying. ”

Chicago's Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot, like Gov. Pritzker, has been trying to protect Chicago's as best as possible, and has directed Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to abolish ICE's access to the Chicago Police Department's databases that track undocumented immigrants in Chicago.

"Chicago will always be a welcoming city and a champion for the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities, and I encourage any resident in need of legal aid to contact the National Immigrant Justice Center," she said Friday. ! function (f, b, e, v, n, t, s) {if (f.fbq) return; n = f.fbq = function () {n.callMethod?
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