“The last frontier is how we treat the undocumented in this country.”
Preckwinkle told the feds the county will not help them deport illegal immigrants, because that would mean granting them fewer rights than American citizens.
Board President Preckwinkle Refuses to Deport Illegal Immigrants from Cook County Jail
Updated: Tuesday, 10 Apr 2012
By Political Editor Mike Flannery, FOX Chicago News
Chicago - Board President Toni Preckwinkle rejected the latest attempt by the Obama Administration Monday, to resume deporting illegal immigrants who've been locked up at Cook County Jail.
Despite repeated requests from Washington, the County Board President told FOX Chicago News that she would not help enforce any laws aimed at illegal immigrants.
Each month, about 100 illegal immigrants are arrested for crimes sufficiently serious to put them in Cook County Jail.
The Department of Homeland Security's Immigration agents have pleaded with the county to resume doing what it used to do before releasing undocumented aliens.
But in this letter obtained by Fox Chicago News, Preckwinkle told the feds the county will not help them deport illegal immigrants, because that would mean granting them fewer rights than American citizens.
“The way in which we treat the undocumented is the sort of last test in this country of our commitment to equality and justice for all,” Preckwinkle said.
That's not how Brian McCann frames the issue. His brother was killed by a drunk driver who was an illegal immigrant with previous felony convictions.
Soon after the arrest of his alleged killer, the County Board voted to stop cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE.
So, when he posted a $25,000 cash bond, he want free
, even though ICE had requested he be turned over to them. He's still a fugitive
McCann was disappointed by Preckwinkle's latest letter to the national director of ICE.
“I'm unhappy. What I want is Ms. Preckwinkle and Cook County sheriff and all the other members of the criminal justice system to comply with ICE,” McCann said. “I do not want illegal convicted felons to remain in this country. They need to be deported. And the way to do that is to cooperate with ICE
Preckwinkle suggested Tuesday that since the felon in the McCann case was a flight risk, he should not have been released on bond at all. She insisted it's ultimately a civil rights issue
“Over time, we've expanded the rights and leveled the playing field across a variety of issues, gender, race sexual orientation,” Preckwinkle said. “The last frontier is how we treat the undocumented in this country.”
At the conclusion of her letter to the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Preckwinkle offers to meet with John Morton.
But she makes it plain that the county is not going to help him enforce federal immigration laws.