Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty today reaffirmed Evanston’s “Welcoming City” policy in the face of reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids may be conducted in the Chicago area this weekend.

Hagerty says the city’s Police Department “will not provide any assistance to ICE in any enforcement action in Evanston.”

He said the Police Department is not aware of any enforcement action planned here, but that ICE in the past has conducted enforcement activities in Evanston “without our knowledge or cooperation” and doesn’t expect to receive any prior warning of any enforcement activities now.

The City of Evanston has had a “Welcoming City” policy since 2008 that has been strengthened in recent years.

Governor Pritzker on Friday signed a package of legislation enhancing protection for immigrant families in Illinois.

Hagerty says, “The City of Evanston welcomes diversity and believes all individuals living or visiting our city should be treated fairly with respect and dignity. Evanston will not support any efforts contrary to these beliefs.” 

The National Immigrant Justice Center offers guidance for immigrants seeking to defend their rights when faced with a possible enforcemnt action.

Update 4:50 p.m.: President Trump this afternoon delayed plans for the wave of immigration raids that had been scheduled for Sunday, but threatened to launch them in two weeks if Democrats don’t agree to changes in asylum laws that they have long opposed.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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