The nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the impacts of immigration on the United States is not surprised that Chicago's Democratic mayor has doubled down on her city's sanctuary status.
After 34-year old Christopher Puente, an illegal immigrant with a felony federal warrant and previous deportations, was released by Chicago police according to their sanctuary policy, he allegedly proceeded to rape a three-year old girl in a McDonald's restroom.
Puente's rap sheet includes convictions for burglary, forgery, trespassing, and domestic battery, among other crimes, dating back 20 years. Chicago PD had him on theft charges but released him into the community rather than hand him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. ICE has complained to the city, but at a news conference last Friday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot doubled down.
"We are a welcoming city. We are a sanctuary city. Chicago Police Department will not cooperate with ICE on any immigration related business," she declared. "Is there better bridges to be built between the city and ICE so that a heinous crime like this doesn't occur again," she continued, answering a reporter’s question. "Look, we are doing what's necessary to keep our residents safe, all the time, 24/7. If ICE is complaining … they shouldn't do things that are traumatizing young children."
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, says what happened to the little girl is sickening, and the fact that Chicago allowed it to happen is reprehensible. But sadly, she is not surprised.
"Mayor Lightfoot is one of … a group of state and local leaders in this country who are pushing the narrative that law enforcement of every kind – especially immigration law enforcement – is somehow inherently oppressive or discriminatory or even racist," Vaughan laments.