Deadly Policies: Activist groups are hindering immigration law enforcement across the nation
By Michael Volpe, Organization Trends, August 2014 (PDF here)
Summary: Around the nation, pressure groups are helping to pass laws that forbid local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration agencies that issue orders to detain illegal immigrants. The president’s Cook County in Illinois has been one of the worst offenders. The results have already been deadly, and they are likely to worsen.
County sheriffs in charge of the nation’s jails are increasingly reluctant to respect the federal government’s requests to detain suspected undocumented immigrants. The official requests, known as “detainers,” are issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In most jails, the processing of new inmates involves running their fingerprints through a federal database to ascertain their immigration status. DHS flags detainees suspected of being in the U.S. illegally and sends out detainer documents that local sheriffs have traditionally treated as warrants requiring them to keep the individuals in custody. But many local officials these days won’t keep illegal immigrants under lock and key, waiting until ICE retrieves them for possible removal from the U.S. Jailers used to think of immigration detainers as mandatory, but several key court decisions have made clear to local law enforcement that the detainers are mere requests by ICE.
Although detainers have been around for a long time, their use has proliferated under an ICE program known as Secure Communities. That program consists of a computer software system that connects federal agencies like ICE, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service with local police departments. In jurisdictions that participate in the program, it facilitates access to data on individuals booked in local prisons. Left-wing activists complain that Secure Communities has led to the proliferation of arrests for minor offenses like speeding, because when local police book suspects, they share the booking information with ICE.
Detainers are valid for up to two days (excluding weekends and holidays) and exhort jailers to keep in custody illegal immigrants who are otherwise scheduled for release, so ICE can claim them and process them for deportation. If ICE does not take custody after 48 hours, the local law enforcement agency is required to release the individual.
According to ICE, “an immigration detainer (Form I-247) is a notice that DHS issues to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to inform the LEA that ICE intends to assume custody of an individual in the LEA’s custody.” On its website, ICE uses legal language to explain the three key functions of an immigration detainer: “1) to notify an LEA that ICE intends to assume custody of an alien in the LEA’s custody once the alien is no longer subject to the LEA’s detention; 2) to request information from an LEA about an alien’s impending release so ICE may assume custody before the alien is released from the LEA’s custody; and 3) to request that the LEA maintain custody of an alien who would otherwise be released for a period not to exceed 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) to provide ICE time to assume custody.”
Some courts have found that retaining individuals in custody after they have completed their sentence or are eligible for release violates the inmates’ constitutional rights. (USA Today, May 23, 2014). Authorities are also hesitant because they have been on the receiving end of political pressure from left-wing open-borders activists who seek to attack the current immigration system. Nonprofit groups such as National Council of La Raza and National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON) have been instrumental in the political assault on detainers. As a result, local authorities are now more likely than ever to treat detainers as mere suggestions. The consequences have been deadly, as dangerous criminals who would otherwise be deported are instead released back into their communities to commit more crimes, up to and including murder.
The detainers issue takes on added significance, given the current chaos at the southern border where tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors, many suspected of membership in violent criminal gangs, stream into the U.S., largely through the porous international border that snakes along the outskirts of Texas and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas. No one seems to know if the new arrivals are criminals or terrorists, and the Obama administration’s catch-and-release program has allowed these potential bad actors into the country. On June 26 an illegal immigrant from Honduras named Pedro Alberto Monterroso-Navas was arrested in Katy, Texas, on suspicion of kidnapping of children and second-degree murder in connection with the death of his girlfriend who was found bludgeoned to death in Louisiana. The man, whose alien registration number is 202027386, had originally entered the U.S. illegally, accompanied by children, and surrendered to the U.S. Border Patrol which processed him in McAllen, Texas, Breitbart News reports. After immigration processing, Monterroso-Navas was set free with tragic results. Although federal officials say they have placed an immigration detainer on the Honduran man in case he is released from custody, as the Los Angeles Times reported July 17, it is anyone’s guess if the detainer will actually be honored if he is given bail.
Conservatives have been outraged that the U.S Border Patrol seems to have transformed from a security force into a social welfare agency, as officers forgo border enforcement in favor of relocating the illegal immigrants to temporary holding facilities where they receive food, shelter, and medical care at taxpayer expense. The new arrivals, many of them young adults, are desperate, hungry, and sick, after risking life and limb to make it to our country. News accounts teem with reports of illegal immigrants covered in lice and suffering from tuberculosis and other communicable diseases rare in the U.S. but still part of everyday life in Latin America.
Some conservatives are also suspicious of the Obama administration’s motives in allowing—some would say encouraging—the illegals to run for the border, visions of taxpayer-provided handouts and immigration amnesty in their heads. They fear the president is importing future Democratic voters in an effort to bring about fundamental changes in American politics, government, and society.
A growing number of local jurisdictions, including the president’s own home turf of Cook County, Illinois, have enacted ordinances forbidding law enforcement officials from honoring detainers. According to Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies such ordinances have been adopted by 25 different localities so far. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced earlier this summer that he intended to sign legislation that is being drafted which would block Boston police from detaining illegal immigrants for release to ICE, unless the individuals are convicted of serious crimes.
“Many people who are in this country are undocumented,” Walsh said. “I’m certainly not going to have my police department picking up every single person in the country, state, or the city that’s undocumented.” (Boston Globe, June 25, 2014)
Strangely, the labor movement is thrilled at the prospect of new illegal immigrants entering the workforce, even though it is an iron law of economics that an oversupply of labor puts downward pressure on workers’ wages, thereby harming the workers the unions supposedly protect. But somehow labor bosses in charge of a movement in steep decline have convinced themselves that more workers equals more union members, and therefore more income from dues. “We’re thrilled,” said Brian Lang, president of Unite Here Local 26 in Boston after Mayor Walsh made his announcement. “As a union, we think this is a central issue for workers’ rights.” Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente, based in Somerville, Mass., was also enthusiastic. “It’s sending a very important message, not just to the rest of the state, but to the rest of the country.”
The model legislation that mandates non-cooperation with ICE on detainers in all but the most serious cases and that is being promoted by radical left-wing groups is called the “TRUST Act” (Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools). The George Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP), which has been at the forefront of the Left’s long-running assault on American civil society, is a major institutional supporter of the Act.
Marshall Fitz, director of immigration policy at CAP, makes the case for lawlessness and chaos. He bemoans the $17 billion ($17,000,000,000)—he calls it “a king’s ransom”—that the U.S. spends annually on border and immigration enforcement, even though that sum is a rounding error in an annual federal budget that in fiscal 2013 was a gargantuan $3.45 trillion ($3,450,000,000,000). Fitz complains that Secure Communities, which he calls a “troubling program,” deputizes state and local law enforcement as immigration agents, requiring them to feed into a federal database the vital statistics of anyone booked on a criminal charge. Many individuals arrested for minor charges are “swept up into the deportation pipeline because of the program,” he gripes. “The perception that local police are effectively serving as immigration agents has significantly alienated immigrant communities, making them less willing to collaborate with police.”
Fitz favors immigration amnesty and views the TRUST Act as an interim measure until amnesty can be enacted. “Instead of trying to enlist states in a self-defeating and inhumane effort to expel millions of people from this country, Congress needs to own up to its obligation to reform the broken system and abandon its knee-jerk reliance on enforcement panacea.” (See “The California TRUST Act: Take 2,” at AmericanProgress.org, Oct. 4, 2013.)
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
On the evening of June 8, 2011, Denny McCann, a 68-year-old insurance agent from Chicago, tried to cross the street to meet one of his best clients, the owner of El Cid’s Restaurant, in the Logan Square neighborhood of the Windy City. As he walked, a drunk driver named Saul Chavez hit him with his 2002 Dodge Neon. On impact, McCann cracked the windshield of the vehicle and then tumbled forward. The driver tried to flee and in the process ran the victim over and dragged him 200 feet. McCann died later that night. When he was detained that evening, Chavez presented a 0.29 blood alcohol level, more than three times the legal limit. The nightmare for the McCann family was only beginning.
On Sept. 7, 2011, Cook County, Illinois, became a trendsetter for radical left-wing local governments when its board of supervisors passed an ordinance forbidding the county from cooperating with ICE on detainers. In the case of Saul Chavez, his family posted 10 percent of his $250,000 bond in November 2011. Cook County had received an ICE detainer for Chavez, but the local ordinance prevented the county from honoring it, so officials released the man from jail instead of turning him over to ICE. He skipped his next court appearance and fled to his home country of Mexico where he is still at large. In an interview for this article, Brian McCann, the victim’s brother, said he’s frustrated with the politicians who passed the ordinance and the advocacy groups that pressured them.
Brian McCann remembers the first time he communicated with Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In late December 2011, famed Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wrote a series of articles blasting the Cook County Board for the September 2011 ordinance. Behind the scenes, Brian McCann was sending a series of emails to members of the Cook County Board pleading with them to reconsider the ordinance. In mid-January 2012, McCann said he received a call from Josh Hoyt of the ICIRR. Hoyt asked McCann to participate in a roundtable discussion in, of all places, El Cid’s Restaurant.
Looking back, McCann said the entire thing was a set-up. He said the so-called roundtable discussion included him and about 30 women, each of whom told their own sob story about how their husbands had been unfairly snatched by ICE and deported. McCann believes the entire thing was done in an attempt to neutralize him.
If these tactics sound like the sort employed by notorious Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky, this may be no coincidence. Hoyt is a protégé of Ed Chambers, who’s a protégé of Alinsky himself.
Whatever Hoyt’s intention in inviting McCann to this roundtable, it worked. In February 2012, the Cook County Board held another meeting to consider the ordinance, but that meeting turned into little more than a session for local politicians to blast ICE, the Cook County bond system, and anything else that took the spotlight away from the ordinance’s flaws. A representative of ICIRR spoke, along with several of the same women who participated in the roundtable discussion.
A vote to repeal the ordinance was tabled, and the ordinance hasn’t been discussed since. In an interview with this writer, McCann expressed dissatisfaction with the Democrats who voted for the ordinance and with the Republicans whose half-hearted push for repeal doomed efforts to reverse it. “I have concluded that the four sponsoring commissioners who introduced amendments (to the ordinance), that they were never serious about these amendments because they never put it to a vote.”
The ordinance continues, and its grave consequences include similar incidents: In October 2011, Eric Maya was sentenced to 60 days in Cook County Jail for beating his girlfriend. He was released when his ICE detainer was ignored, and in February 2014, he was charged with shooting another ex-girlfriend, Brianna Valle, in the head twice and killing her as well as injuring her mother.
McCann is philosophical about the outcome. “Politics is simply nothing more than who gets what, where, and why,” he said. “In this case the losers are the American citizens whose safety is at risk.”
According to USA Today, 346 suspected illegal immigrants were released from Cook County Jail just in the first five months after the ordinance was passed.
Formed in 1988, ICIRR grew out of the Chicago Committee for Immigrant Protections “after the passage of the 1986 amnesty, and over the past 25 years it has become the pre-eminent coalition for immigrant rights,” according to a video on the ICIRR website. The board of ICIRR includes radicals like Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
According to its most recent tax filing which covers the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, ICIRR received $9,705,743 in revenue, spent $9,520,931, and ended the year with $3,352,971 in total assets. Its powerbase comes from Chicago’s Southwest side with its burgeoning Latino population. Hoyt, listed as “strategy executive director,” is the second-highest paid staff member, earning $107,905 in total compensation; “executive director” Lawrence Benito earned $119,233.
On the Southwest Side, ICIRR forms an alliance with Cook County Board member Jesus Garcia, the primary advocate of the anti-detainer ordinance, and Luis Gutierrez, the Democrat representing the 4th District in Illinois, who has made granting amnesty for most if not all illegal immigrants the centerpiece of his legislative work.
In June 2009, ICIRR advocated on behalf of Rigo Padilla, an illegal immigrant brought to the U.S. by his mother as a youth. He was stopped by local police, cited for driving under the influence in January 2009, and subsequently transferred to ICE for deportation. At the time, ICIRR made Padilla the sympathetic poster child for what was then a little-known bill called the “DREAM Act.” Later ICIRR was joined by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), two early proponents of the DREAM Act. Padilla ultimately was saved from deportation when his immigration case was stayed in August 2011. In June 2012, President Obama implemented the DREAM Act via executive order, when he couldn’t have it passed through Congress.
Philadelphia Juntos, the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition, and the New Sanctuary Movement
One of the most recent examples of a locality implementing the no-retainer policy comes from Philadelphia, where in April 2014, Mayor Michael Nutter announced an executive order that forbade that city from honoring ICE detainers.
Several left-wing nonprofit groups, the Pennsylvania Citizen and Immigration Coalition, Juntos, and New Sanctuary Movement, played a role in this executive order. The local CBS station identified Juntos as another behind-the-scenes player, along with the New Sanctuary Movement, a group which boasts that its members are primarily illegal immigrants fighting for legalization of their community:
Immigration advocates claim fear of ICE holds kept many in the immigrant community from reporting crime and cooperating with police. They call the order a win.
“It’s been a long fight,” says Erika Almiron, executive director of Juntos. “We need to celebrate and then we need to get focused on how this is implemented.”
“For us, this is proof that a community united can make a big difference,” says Blanca Pacheco of the New Sanctuary Movement. “I’m really proud of the undocumented community—it takes a lot of courage to come forward.”
The Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC) is a local left-wing nonprofit that operates throughout Pennsylvania. Its goals largely mirror those of ICIRR in Illinois. PICC describes itself on its website as “a diverse group that brings together professionals, advocates and immigrant groups of different backgrounds to share information and resources, identify common problems, and advocate for solutions.”
Its board members include Shamaine Daniels, an attorney with the radical lawyers’ group known as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA has opposed such laws as the Strengthen And Fortify Enforcement Act (SAFE). Two of its representatives testified against the bill in the House Judiciary Committee on June 17, 2013.
The SAFE Act was drawn up in response to a number of Department of Justice civil suits against states like Arizona and South Carolina, which passed local immigration laws to give their police officers certain powers to enforce immigration laws. The Act would have allowed localities to have such laws, as long as the laws mirrored federal immigration laws. The SAFE Act was roundly condemned by nearly every liberal media outlet, politician, and nonprofit in the country. It passed the House but died in the Democrat-controlled Senate in 2013.
PICC received $125,845 in revenue in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, according to its last IRS filing. It spent $125,965 that year.
Juntos of Philadelphia, one of several Juntos charities around the country, was founded in 2002 with similar goals to PICC. Its funders include the William Penn Foundation, which gave it $82,500 in 2011. It also received $10,000 apiece from the Philadelphia Foundation and the Samuel S. Sels Foundation. During its first year, Juntos was housed in space donated by St. Thomas Aquinas Church at 18th and Morris Streets.
One of Juntos’ board members is David Bennion, who, according to his biography on their website, “is on the Program Committee of the Board and is an expert immigration lawyer who works very closely with Dream Activists PA. He is also on the board of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition.” Dream Activists PA is a Pennsylvania nonprofit that, as the name implies, advocates for the DREAM Act.
The New Sanctuary Movement is a collection of interfaith nonprofits specifically created to stop cooperation on detainers between ICE and local police departments. On its website it brags that its “member-leaders” are “undocumented” and that since 2008 it has “organized against the collaboration between law enforcement and federal deportation agents, which resulted in mass deportation in our city.” The New Sanctuary Movement is not listed with Guidestar, the website that makes nonprofits’ tax filings available online.
CASA de Maryland
In July 2012, Washington, D.C., passed its own no-retainer ordinance, thanks in large part to the crusading advocacy of the left-wing nonprofit CASA de Maryland. Here’s how CASA de Maryland’s website described its role in passing the ordinance:
The Maryland Commission for Family Unity, a group of civil rights, victims’ advocates, faith institutions, and labor and community organizations, heralded today the actions of the Washington DC Council in passing emergency legislation to protect the district from the negative impacts of the poorly designed federal immigration enforcement program Secure Communities. Commission members called on Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties—counties with the state’s largest immigrant populations—as well as the state of Maryland to follow suit.
“The nation’s capital has shown the type of leadership we need to ensure that our communities are protected from crime and our families are not being torn apart by ICE’s failed “Secure Communities” program, said Father Jacek Orzechowski, Parochial Vicar at St. Camillus church which sits on the border of the two counties in Silver Spring. ‘We expect our Maryland leadership to step up to the plate and protect the families of our parish, rather than spending their energy and limited resources on facilitating the inhumane and unjust policy separating parents from their children.”
According to its website, “CASA of Maryland is a community organization that was founded in 1985 by Central American refugees and North Americans. CASA was created in response to the human needs of the thousands of Central Americans arriving to the D.C. area after fleeing wars and civil strife in their countries of origin.”
This powerful local organization was once led by current U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. Perez “is a former President of CASA’s Board of Directors where he led a period of unprecedented growth and maturation of programming,” according to a CASA de Maryland press release upon Perez’s appointment to President Obama’s cabinet.
In 2008, the Washington Post reported that among the funders of CASA de Maryland is the state-owned oil company Citgo, long controlled by the now-deceased dictator of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. The company gave $1.5 million to CASA de Maryland.
CASA de Maryland boasted $6,309,902 in revenues, according to its most recent IRS filing for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. Among its funders is George Soros’s Foundation to Promote Open Society, which gave CASA de Maryland $75,000 in 2010, another $75,000 in 2011, and $400,000 in 2012. CASA de Maryland has also received a number of grants from the philanthropic arms of Bank of America, Citi, and Wells Fargo. (For a full report on CASA de Maryland, see the September 2012 Organization Trends.)
Since the ordinance took effect, the District of Columbia has released several potentially dangerous illegal immigrants without providing advance notice to ICE, according to ICE public affairs officer Carissa Cutrell:
*In 2012, D.C. authorities arrested a 41-year-old male citizen of El Salvador for possession of a dangerous weapon. The man had a previous conviction for felony larceny in 1996.
*In 2013, D.C. authorities arrested a 39-year-old male citizen of Mexico for simple assault. The individual had previous convictions for hindering apprehension, sexual solicitation, prostitution, assault with a weapon, and simple assault.
*In 2013, D.C. authorities arrested a 34-year-old male citizen of El Salvador for possession of a controlled substance. The individual illegally re-entered the United States after being removed. The man had previous convictions for inflicting corporal injury, trespassing, felony robbery, and assault and battery.
*In 2014, D.C. authorities arrested a 33-year-old male citizen of El Salvador who illegally re-entered the U.S. after being removed, for solicitation of prostitution. The individual had a previous conviction for driving while intoxicated.
New York State and Make the Road New York
One of the first localities to apply a no-retainer policy was the State of New York, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order in 2010 that gave all prisons in the state the power not to cooperate with ICE detainers. It didn’t take long for that policy to turn deadly, as I explained in a 2011 article for WND:
“There, it was Luis Rodriguez Flamenco, 24. According to police reports, Flamenco allegedly stabbed to death 45-year-old Kathleen Byham outside a Wal-Mart in Albion, N.Y., last November. Flamenco, in the U.S. illegally, was out on bail for an unrelated burglary charge at the time of the arrest. According to ICE, ICE put a detainer on Flamenco at the time of his burglary arrest. Because of [Gov. Cuomo’s] new executive order, that detainer was ignored and Flamenco was released after he posted bail for the burglary charge.
Despite that deadly outcome, New York City enacted local law 21 on March 18, 2013, which forbade prisons in that city from cooperating with ICE on detainers. One of the driving forces behind that local policy is the liberal nonprofit, Make the Road New York (MRNY). According to its website, MRNY ‘builds the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services.’”
MRNY received a robust $8,366,068 in revenues in 2012, according to its most recent IRS filing. Its board members include Oona Chatterjie, who is also a member of the left-wing Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Barack Obama was a board member (along with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers) of the sister organization, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, for three years starting in 1995.
MRNY receives grants from prominent left-wing philanthropies. It has received $1,452,163 from the Robin Hood Foundation since 2008, and has also received $769,430 in grants from the Foundation to Promote Open Society since 2010.
The TRUST Act in California
The true test of the severity of the damage from no-retainer policies will likely unfold over the next six to twelve months. In January 2014, California began implementing its version of the TRUST Act. While not as expansive as the similar ordinance in Cook County, Ill., the Golden State’s TRUST Act mandates non-cooperation with ICE on detainers in all but the most serious cases.
Don Rosenberg of Los Angeles, a lifelong liberal, is a public safety advocate who has been studying immigration issues since his son Drew was killed by Robert Galo in 2010. Galo entered the country illegally but was allowed to stay after his home country of Honduras was placed on Temporary Protected Status list. In an interview for this profile, Rosenberg said his biggest fear regarding California’s TRUST Act is that so-called “serious crimes” remain undefined. He worries that fewer and fewer crimes will be considered serious, and most if not all illegal immigrants will be released rather than handed over to ICE.
His son was killed by a man who had previously been ticketed for driving without a license, an offense unlikely to be considered dangerous. On the other hand, Rosenberg said he asks public officials with whom he meets, “Do you consider a crime which kills over 7,200 people a minor offense?” He’s referring to a 2011 study by AAA which found that about 7,200 deaths are caused yearly by drivers who drive without a license. The TRUST Act was passed with the help of an assortment of left-wing nonprofits, including the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON), which is based in Los Angeles. NDLON showed $1,597,638 in revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, down from $2,527,536 in 2011, according to its most recent tax filing. (NDLON was profiled in the September 2010 Foundation Watch.)
The TRUST Act passed in California even though a similar policy had earlier been implemented in Santa Clara County, next door to San Francisco. No high-profile incidents occurred as a result of that policy, but only because ICE was forced to do a sweep across the county in which it rounded up 63 illegal immigrants, including a number of bad actors who had been released. A press release that accompanied the sweep highlighted the worst offenders:
*A Mexican national convicted earlier this year of felony possession of heroin for sale who was sentenced to six months in prison.
*A 49-year-old male Mexican national convicted in 2011 of child molestation.
*A 29-year-old male Mexican national with prior convictions for kidnapping and cocaine possession.
*A 48-year-old woman from Mexico with 13 aliases who has prior felony convictions for forgery and misuse of an entry document. Having been removed from the United States five times, she now faces federal prosecution for felony re-entry after deportation.
The Two Faces of ICE
Whenever one of these policies leads to a tragic outcome as in the case of Erik Maya, ICE often releases a statement blaming the locality for its lack of cooperation with the agency. For example, after Maya’s arrest, ICE spokesperson Gail Montenegro stated that “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement first placed an immigration detainer on Erick Maya at the Berwyn Police Department on criminal charges.” And yet, “Despite the ICE detainer, ICE was not informed of Mr. Maya’s release from local custody. Consequently, he was released on the streets instead of being turned over to ICE.”
Vaughan, Rosenberg, and McCann all said this stance is disingenuous. Rosenberg recently met with the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Jeh Johnson, who told him that policies like the TRUST Act and the ordinance in Cook County create some of the biggest problems in enforcing immigration laws.
“Then you need to walk over to the Justice Department,” Rosenberg said he responded. Rosenberg meant that the Justice Department is quick to sue states like Arizona and South Carolina when they implement a policy that is tough on illegal immigrants. Both Vaughan and McCann also pointed out that the federal government, including ICE itself, continue to give millions yearly in grants to localities like Cook County, despite the localities’ harmful policies.
For groups like ICIRR, illegal immigration is an issue of family unification. These groups rarely give more than a passing glance to the victims of criminal illegal immigrants. In liberal and largely Hispanic areas, these groups maintain a high level of power which they use to push the legislature to act as their proxies. Stories like that of Denny McCann and Brianna Valle are often treated with far less scrutiny than are stories of poor women left with no husband because he’s been deported. As a result, well-intentioned though misguided ordinances like the one in Cook County are passed—with deadly results. Just ask the McCann family.
Chicago-based writer Michael Volpe spent more than a decade in finance before becoming a freelance journalist. His work has appeared in such national publications as the Daily Caller, FrontPage Magazine, CounterPunch, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Newsletter. His second book, The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers, was published in 2013.