Daily Southtown

Solis says city violated its sanctuary law

Alderman critical of raid in Pilsen targeting counterfei­t sportswear

- By Gregory Pratt gpratt@chicagotri­bune.com Twitter @royalpratt

A Chicago alderman Monday questioned whether the city violated its own sanctuary city ordinance, and criticized the Police Department after a raid targeting counterfei­t sportswear in Pilsen led to federal authoritie­s taking a woman into immigratio­n custody.

Ald. Danny Solis, 25th, who represents the Latino Pilsen neighborho­od, said an Aug. 1 police raid in his ward violated Chicago’s pro-immigrant Welcoming City Ordinance by collaborat­ing with homeland security officials, a charge police disputed. Solis also criticized the department for focusing on what he considered a relatively lowlevel crime, such as counterfei­t clothes, when the city recently experience­d its most violent weekend in years.

“With all the crime we’ve got going, this is how we spend our resources?” Solis said.

The controvers­y stems from a police raid at a store on 18th Street and Ashland Avenue where 500 items were confiscate­d, police said. During an investigat­ion initiated by citizen complaint, police learned of possible counterfei­t and trademark infringeme­nt on jerseys, hats and other items, officials said.

Chicago’s sanctuary city ordinance bars police from letting federal Immigratio­n and Customs Enforcemen­t officials have access to people in local custody. Among other things, it also prohibits on-duty police officers from talking with ICE officials before a person’s release, or allowing ICE agents to use local police facilities for investigat­ions or interviews.

Chicago police partner with the Cook County Intellectu­al Property Task Force, which includes Homeland Security Investigat­ions, and they executed a search warrant at the store, officials said. Police “made no arrests and took no one into custody for questionin­g,” a police spokesman said in a statement, but “federal authoritie­s independen­tly questioned a store employee without the assistance or involvemen­t of the Chicago Police Department.”

Police officials acknowledg­ed the department was involved in a raid on a convenienc­e store earlier this month but said it wasn’t participat­ing in an immigratio­n action and never would.

But Solis said the woman is a mother of three who is now being held at the McHenry County jail, one of the facilities where ICE holds immigrants.

An ICE spokeswoma­n said Chicago police “did not play any role in the arrest” and the woman is in the immigratio­n agency’s custody.

The spokeswoma­n said special agents with U.S. Immigratio­n and Customs Enforcemen­t’s Homeland Security Investigat­ions participat­ed in the raid.

Standing with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at an unrelated news conference, Superinten­dent Eddie Johnson said his department was there “strictly” for counterfei­t merchandis­e.

“We don’t question people about their immigratio­n status,” Johnson said. “We will never do that.”

Emanuel, who has positioned the city as pro-immigrant in response to President Donald Trump’s immigratio­n policies, said operations into “counterfei­t products” are “legitimate.”

“It cannot become an operation about ensnaring a Chicagoan who’s welcome in our city, especially a parent with children,” Emanuel added.

 ?? ANTONIO PEREZ/CHICAGO TRIBUNE ?? Ald. Danny Solis, 25th, said an Aug. 1 raid in Pilsen violated the city’s Welcoming City Ordinance.
ANTONIO PEREZ/CHICAGO TRIBUNE Ald. Danny Solis, 25th, said an Aug. 1 raid in Pilsen violated the city’s Welcoming City Ordinance.

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