Chicago authorities are defending their ongoing refusal to cooperate with federal immigration officials, even after an illegal alien they released from custody was arrested and charged with raping a three-year-old girl in a restaurant bathroom.
According to this, 34-year-old Christopher Puente, a Mexican national living illegally in the United States and arrested for theft, was released by Chicago police in 2019 after the department ignored an ICE detainer per the city’s sanctuary policies that prohibit local cooperation with federal immigration officials. Puente was then arrested again in February for reportedly sexually assaulting a three-year-old girl in a McDonald’s bathroom. He has been deported at least once and has prior convictions for burglary, forgery, trespassing, and domestic battery.
Now, ICE officials are pointing out that sacntuary cities like Chicago are putting dangerous criminal aliens back onto U.S. streets and allowing them to victimize others thanks to sanctuary policies designed to protect illegals and play politics.
Robert Guadian, field office director of Chicago enforcement and removal operations, said, “How many more victims must there be before lawmakers realize that sanctuary policies do not protect the innocent? Puente should have been in ICE custody last year and removed to his home country. Instead, irresponsible lawmaking allowed him to walk free and prey on our most vulnerable.”
But according to Chicago officials, this latest incident is in no way their fault.
"The Chicago Police Department remains committed to protecting all Chicago residents regardless of their immigration status," the Chicago Police Department said in a statement addressing the issue. "Our pledge to restrict ICE access to our information systems and our refusal to cooperate with ICE immigration enforcement measures has not changed."
Mayor Lori Lightfoot added, "If ICE is complaining, then they should do their job better."
"They're critical because we have said very clearly we are a welcoming city, a sanctuary city. Chicago Police Department will not cooperate with ICE on any immigration-related business," she said. "And that's affected their ability to conduct immigration raids across the city. But that's exactly our intention. We have to make sure our police department is seen as a legitimate force in all our communities."