Meeting about violence quickly turns to immigration concerns

An alderman's push to stop violence was met with questions Monday about police cooperating with ICE agents.

There were many important issues discussed and crime was just one of them as Alderman Lopez has made that a focus in his district, which sees a high rate of violence.

However, members of the Brighton Park neighborhood council wanted to discuss something different. Most important on their mind is what they say is Lopez’s position swap on amending Chicago’s welcoming city ordinance to prevent CPD from working with immigration agents when detaining suspects.

“We've had multiple meetings with him and he's still very closed-minded about the issues we want to discuss with him,” said Veronica Rodriguez.

Joined by representatives from the Department of Justice, the office of the state's attorney and Chicago police, Lopez pivoted toward issues of crime, seemingly refusing to answer the groups repeated questioning during the meeting.

“I'm happy to have that conversation later in this meeting,” Lopez said.

But questions about immigration persisted. Among them, so- called "carve-outs" that allow people do be added to a gang database and pinpointed for deportation.

Advocates cry foul.

“There's no protocols and no court cases so you can't even defend yourself,” said Andrea Ortiz.

“It is not a sanctuary if people have to be afraid to live here and there are people who are trying to use our sympathy,” Lopez said.

Lopez re-iterates his belief that Chicago should be a sanctuary city. Asked directly by the press if he supports the sanctuary city ordinance, Lopez said he has "reservations" about an ordinance with no "carve-outs."

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