Part of Nationwide Raids:

Gestapo ICE Raids in Sanctuary Chicago Grab 156 Immigrants!

May 31, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Over a six-day period from May 19-24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement( ICE) raids snatched up 156 immigrants in 37 communities across the Chicago metropolitan area. This was part of a nationwide series of raids on immigrant communities by ICE named “Operation Keep Safe” (Sic[k]!), which has included raids in upstate New York a few weeks ago and in South and North California in February. Immigrants taken in the Chicago raids were from 11 countries, mostly from Mexico, but also Guatemala, Poland, El Salvador, Honduras, the Philippines, Ecuador, Jamaica, Jordan, Lithuania and New Zealand. One hundred forty-seven were men and nine were women, ages 19 to 64. Most had no prior convictions—their only “crime” is being undocumented. They were snatched from businesses, homes, in their cars, off streets and day-labor corners.

Imagine the terror of people in immigrant communities, worrying about loved ones and people they know, just as news was breaking about immigrant children being torn away from detained parents and others disappeared in the system, and Trump calling immigrants “animals.” What kind of animals tear parents away from their children? Inhuman monsters—like slave catchers chasing escaped slaves, also considered less than human and torn from their children—now in the service of a monstrous, fascist regime.

These raids in the Chicago area represent a major escalation of the Trump/Pence fascist regime’s program of ethnic cleansing. They have been enacting and implementing repressive anti-immigrant measures and laws, enabling police across the country to arrest immigrants, and enflaming a rabid, racist social base to carry out attacks, all aimed at driving out millions of immigrants. They are out to remove any obstacles in their way, legal, political and otherwise. They must not be allowed to succeed.

It is clear these raids were designed to terrorize whole communities. Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) reported on their blog that their hotline answered calls from people reporting immigration raids in several suburbs and cities near Chicago. Each of the calls received described draconian tactics used by ICE.

According to OCAD, “Evidence documented and gathered by community members over the last three days shows that ICE agents conducted this wave of raids with impunity. Media outlets and various social media posts showed ICE agents approaching cars and residences, terrorizing entire communities. We know that in some instances, agents entered people’s homes without a court-issued warrant and stopped people while driving, eventually taking individuals into custody for ‘speeding,’ blatantly acting outside of their own jurisdiction.” One local media report described ICE agents peering into someone’s basement window and advised people to keep their windows covered!

In the nearby city of St. Charles, ICE agents entered a restaurant with a photo of someone they were looking for and demanded to speak to the entire kitchen staff. An employee declared to a local television channel, “They did this without a court order and ended up taking six employees, who apparently did not have their papers in order.” Restaurants were a major target of the raids. Several had to shut down because almost all of their staff was detained in the raids, or because the employees are afraid to return.

ICE bragged about the raids in a release headlined: “ICE arrests 156 criminal aliens and immigration violators during Operation Keep Safe in Chicago area.” Richard Wong, Chicago-based ICE regional director, slandered immigrants and sanctuary cities, saying in the release: “ICE continues to face significant obstacles from dangerous policies created by local officials which hinder cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement. ‘Sanctuary cities’ not only provide refuge to illegal aliens, but they also protect criminal aliens who prey on people in their own communities.”

All this is taking place at a time of national attacks on sanctuary states and cities, and the officials who support them. Trump and Sessions recently escalated threats against Libby Schaaf, the Oakland mayor who warned residents of impending ICE raids during raids in North California in late February. In contrast, the raids in Chicago have been met with deafening silence by Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic senator Dick Durbin, both of whom claim to be staunch friends of immigrant communities, along with most of the English language media. This objectively amounts to collaboration with the Gestapo raids and the fascist Trump regime.

OCAD and the Latino Union of Chicago led a rally of 75-100 people on May 24 to protest a raid, which snatched up 30 immigrants, on a corner in a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood of Chicago where day laborers gather for work. Many organizations participated, including the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, PASO, Enlace Chicago, Workers Center for Racial Justice, Freedom First International, Refuse Fascism, Revolution Club Chicago, and the Chicago Federation of Labor. Undocumented immigrants spoke at the protest, detailing the terror and horror of families torn apart by these vicious raids. OCAD has also been circulating a petition demanding that Mayor Emanuel warn people in the Chicago area of impending raids on immigrants, as Libby Schaaf did.

Such protests are good, but MUCH, MUCH more is needed! This is an EMERGENCY! These attacks on immigrants are fucking intolerable. The legal assaults on sanctuary jurisdictions are fucking intolerable. THEY MUST BE STOPPED!

Millions of people hate this! Where are you? Religious institutions with sanctuary signs outside your doors? Sanctuary colleges and universities? Major immigrant rights and civil rights organizations? Restaurant owners who have declared themselves a sanctuary? Lawyers and others who flooded the airports to stop the Muslim ban? Dreamers and those who took to the streets to defend them? Everyone with a beating heart and a shred of humanity?

This is a turning point. All those who have acted in support of immigrants and against injustice and racism must act! There needs to be growing, creative no-business-as-usual protests around the ICE raids everywhere, NOW. Immigrants, sanctuary cities and states and the politicians who support them must be defended.

The Trump regime is implementing and escalating these Nazi atrocities against immigrants. The attack on immigrants is a linch pin and battering ram, as has called it, for a whole fascist program. There is an urgent need and a way forward for a growing movement to stop the nightmare of a fascist regime by driving it from power. Read, sign and share the Refuse Fascism Call to Action.

And people of conscience must be seriously questioning what kind of a system generates this American fascism, and watching the film of a talk by Bob Avakian, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America! A Better World IS Possible!

First They Came for the Immigrants. Not This Time, Motherfuckers!




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