MEDIA ADVISORY: Faith Leaders Condemn Immigration Raids, Ask for Relief instead

Media Contact:

Lissette Castillo,(312) 770-0350


Local faith community condemns immigration raids, urges local ICE Director to desist from use of “inhumane” and “immoral” tactics against immigrant community


Will deliver an open letter to Director Ricardo Wong, containing over one hundred signatures from faith leaders of multiple faiths and denominations, stressing the role and responsibility of local office in providing “protection, not persecution.”


WHO: Local faith leaders, members of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) and its "Immigrant Welcoming Congregations," Red de Oracion, and other faith-based organizations


WHAT: Local faith community united in condemnation of immigration raids will deliver faith leader letter to Chicago ICE Field Director Ricardo Wong. The letter was signed by faith leaders across Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, as well as several heads of denomination, who all call on Dr. Ricardo Wong to exercise his power of discretion to refrain from further implementation of immigration raids in areas falling under his jurisdiction.  Faith leaders will also urge larger faith community to take steps to inform immigrants of their rights and to continue to organize against raids and indiscriminate detention and deportations.


WHEN: Thursday, January 28 at 10 AM,  Chicago ICE Office (101 W. Congress)


WHY: Just two days before Christmas, the Washington Post published a story detailing plans by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to start 2016 with mass, nationally coordinated, immigration raids. On January 2nd, local Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)  began moving forward with these plans. Since then multiple raids across the country, including some in Illinois, have resulted in the detention of at least 121 immigrants.


Although at the national level President Obama and DHS can and must act to cease the immigration raids, locally Director Ricardo Wong has the power to ameliorate the fear which has overtaken immigrant communities under his jurisdiction. In addition to desisting from raids and other tactics which are trauma-inducing and drive terror into the hearts of immigrant communities, the faith leaders urge Director Ricardo Wong to direct his offices to take specific actions to use their power of discretion for the purpose of “relief, not raids.”