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Policy clash over immigrant’s arrest

The arrest of an illegal immigrant by Northwestern University Police this week has drawn attention from all sides of the immigration debate, with activists, police and politicians voicing praise and criticism.

The incident has also raised questions about discrepancies between city and university law enforcement and their cooperation with federal immigration officials.

A UP officer pulled over Ramiro Sanchez-Zepeda, 25, early Sunday morning on suspicion of drunk driving, Cmdr. Darren Davis said. The driver was unable to produce a valid driver’s license or proof of insurance.

While trying to determine Sanchez-Zepeda’s identity, UP apparently discovered that he was in the country illegally, Davis said. They contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and detained him overnight before turning him over to ICE on Monday, Davis said.

Ald. Lionel Jean-Baptiste (2nd) said UP shouldn’t have turned Sanchez-Zepeda over to federal officials.

“I’m appalled at the fact that the University Police is pursuing that kind of practice,” he said.

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