Officials, organizations release open letter to Lightfoot, Dart urging non-cooperation with federal agencies

Following the announcement of federal law enforcement agents descending upon Chicago in the upcoming days, 31 elected officials and 24 community and labor organizations have released an open letter to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, urging non-cooperation with federal agencies.

The full letter can be found below: 

"Dear Mayor Lightfoot and Sheriff Dart,

We are writing to you to ask that the City of Chicago and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office cease cooperation with the federal agents being deployed by the Trump administration. Donald Trump has repeatedly demonstrated both his callous disregard for Black, indigenous, and immigrant lives, and his increasing inclination towards fascism and authoritarianism.

We grieve deeply the lives lost to gun violence in Chicago, including the terrible mass shooting on Monday night, the young children killed this summer, and the lives lost every day this year to less fanfare but no less tragedy--429 homicides total at the time of writing.

At the same time, we are clear that we cannot police ourselves out of this terrible situation. Chicago has more police officers per capita than any other major city in the US, but it has not made us the safest city in the US by any measure. Breaking the cycle of violence means that the city must invest in jobs, housing, schools, and healing, not prisons and police--and definitely not cooperation with a dangerous, racist, and repressive Presidential administration.

The ethnonationalist and fascist tendencies of the Trump administration have been well-documented, from his suggestion on Monday that he will not concede the election to encouraging violence against his political opponents, peddling conspiracy theories that fuel white nationalist terrorism, and cracking down on the freedom of the press. We DO NOT trust any promises that President Trump has made or will make about their deployment.

We ask that you immediately cease any existing or planned city police and county sheriff cooperation with the federal agents that President Trump has pledged to send to Chicago. This means:

1. Do not allow these federal agents (including DEA, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, Department of Homeland Security, and FBI) to use city police or county sheriff property, staff, or other resources, including offices, parking lots, police stations, or the Cook County Jail.

2. Cease all information- and database-sharing with federal law enforcement agencies including DEA, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, Department of Homeland Security, and FBI.

3. Do not allow federal agents to assume custody of anyone who is being held in custody of the Chicago Police Department or the Cook County Sheriff, including at Cook County Jail.

4. Expand existing sanctuary zones (schools, hospitals, places of worship) to include other city properties, including library and park buildings, where federal agents are not permitted to enter, detain, or interrogate civilians.​"

Some notable signers include Illinois Senate Majority Leader and Joint Black Caucus Chair Kimberly Lightford, Illinois Senate Deputy Majority Caucus Chair Jacqueline Collins, and Illinois Senate Majority Caucus Whip Omar Aquino. Additionally, Black- and immigrant-led organizations, including Black Lives Matter Chicago, Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Trinity United Church of Christ, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and Organized Communities Against Deportations, as well as legal and political organizations such as the National Lawyers Guild Chicago, Chicago Community Bond Fund, and United Working Families, added their names.