PILSEN — No one was detained after Ald. Byron Sigcho Lopez (25th) said U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement agents were spotted in Pilsen Thursday.
After receiving multiple calls to his ward office, Sigcho Lopez, along with staff members, knocked on doors near 18th and Carpenter streets where immigration officials were reportedly knocking on doors. Street vendors told him they saw ICE agents in the neighborhood, he said.
The alderman said he confirmed reports with the National Immigrant Justice Center.
Other local immigrant rights organizers, including Ere Rendon at The Resurrection Project, canvassed the streets after receiving similar reports but said they could not confirm whether ICE agents were in the neighborhood.
Tara Tidwell-Cullen, spokeswoman with the National Immigrant Justice Center, said partnering groups canvassing the area told them that ICE agents were spotted in the neighborhood. It was “unclear whether it was part of an operation,” she said.
As of Friday morning, the organization had not been informed of any arrests made by ICE Thursday, she said.
Sigcho Lopez later said no one was detained.
Immigrant communities across Chicago and the country have been on high alert after President Donald Trump tweeted earlier this summer that “millions” of undocumented immigrants would be deported. The tweet was followed by news reports that ICE was set to arrest and deport 2,000 immigrants across the country.
Earlier this week, 600 agents swept through a food processing plant and arrested more than 600 undocumented workers in Mississippi.
In response, activists in Chicago have been canvassing the streets informing people of their rights and keeping watch in case ICE agents show up.
Laura Mendoza, an immigrant rights organizer with The Resurrection Project, said ICE agents aren’t allowed to enter private property without a judicial warrant. People also have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney and may refuse to sign paperwork given by an ICE agent, she said.
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