6 Months after ICE Raids Schaumburg Church, DHS Releases Guidelines on Enforcement Operations at Sensitive Locations

Community advocates describe new guidelines as ‘weak and toothless’

Chicago, IL — (ENEWSPF)–August 1, 2016.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released guidelines on how immigration agents conduct raids and other enforcement operations at schools, churches, and other locations considered to be “sensitive.” The new guidelines serve as a supplement to DHS policy, which is supposed to limit operations in these areas. The guidelines were released after widespread community outcry over immigration raids, including one earlier this year in Schaumburg, IL, where immigration agents used lies and deception to detain local resident Reynold Garcia at the Christian Pentecostal Center, his place of worship.

For the last 6 months, advocates in the Chicago area have been questioning the circumstances under which Mr. Garcia was detained, and whether this was a violation of DHS policy. But instead of providing clarity or measures of accountability, the new provision actually grant ICE agents more leeway to carry enforcement operations at sensitive locations without having to get prior approval from a supervisor.

“A few months ago ICE  showed up at the front steps of Christian Pentecostal Church and used lies and deception snatch Reynold from that community. It’s not a question of whether or not ICE violated its policy and engaged in wrongful behavior to deport Reynold. The question here is what is DHS going to do to fix this egregious violation against Reynold and the Schaumburg immigrant community and to ensure that something like this never happens again”–Lissette Castillo, Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN).

“DHS cannot just sweep cases like Reynold’s under the rug and pretend that violations to the Sensitive Locations memo have not occurred. Without acknowledgment, a clear process to investigate violations and implement disciplinary action when violations occur, and remedy for individuals like Reynold Garcia who have been detained or deported because of such violations to internal protocol, there is no accountability. If the Sensitive Locations memo and the new guidelines are just words on a piece of paper, there’s nothing to stop Chicago ICE from engaging in the kind of egregious behavior it displayed against Reynold and his family again.” —Rosi Carrasco, Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD).

Source: The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)