January , 2019

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Groups gathered outside of Chicago ICE office to demand a formal investigation and immigrant protections for the Garcia family, whose members were deported in January. This is the second investigation into civil rights violations by the Chicago Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office this year.

Members of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN), Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD), Latino Union of Chicago, and dozens of other faith, legal, and immigrant rights organizations gathered outside of the Chicago ICE office to publicize the submission of a formal request for civil rights investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of  Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and the office of the Inspector General (IOG) into the deceptive and legally suspect tactics used by the Chicago Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office to detain and deport the Garcia Family.

Read documents here: bit.ly/churchraid

In January 2016, Chicago Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers executed a raid that led to the detention and deportation of the Garcia family, an Illinois family of four. In order to take Mr. Reynold Garcia into custody, immigration agents fabricated a false story involving a family friend suffering a car accident, used a family friend’s cellular phone to lure Mr. Garcia out of the Christian Pentecostal Center, and then impersonated local police before taking him into custody. All of this despite longstanding DHS policy which prohibits immigration raids at churches, schools, and other “sensitive” locations when national security concerns are not present, and despite Mr. Garcia having no criminal record or posing any threat to the public.

Just one day before Mr. Garcia was apprehended, Ms. Karen Margarito-Pineda, Mr. Garcia’s wife, and her children were detained in a home raid in which immigration agents again falsely represented themselves as local policy requiring assistance in the apprehension of a suspect to gain access to the family’s apartment. Immigration agents searched through Ms. Margarito-Pineda’s apartment and interviewed her underage children without a warrant and without her informed consent, a clear violation of her civil rights.

“The tactics which Chicago ICE agents used to target and detain the Garcia family were not only cruel and deceptive, they are also highly legally suspect. Till date, DHS has yet to take any real action to address the abusive tactics which were used to uproot this family from their church and the Palatine community. Today, we are formally calling on the office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to initiate an immediate investigation into the behavior of Chicago ICE agents and to grant immigrant protections for the Garcia family as key victims-witnesses” Rosa Navarro, OCAD.

“When this case was raised to the attention of the Chicago ICE Director Wong, he denied any wrongdoing on his office’s’ behalf. Instead, he told community advocates that new tactics, presumably of the egregious type exercised against Mr. Garcia, are now part of what is needed because organizations are informing people of their right to not open their doors to ICE.  We will not allow the Chicago ICE office to sweep this case under the rug and for them to operate with impunity. Our civil rights investigation request will be the second complaint lodged against the Chicago ICE office this year. We are confident that a transparent investigation inclusive of the family will demonstrate not only that the tactics used to detain and deport the Garcia family were excessive and wrong, but also that there is a deeply concerning pattern of abuse stemming from the Chicago ICE office” Lissette Castillo, CRLN.

To read the complaint/investigation request, see the text messages used to lure Mr. Garcia out of his church, and to access the public petition for the Garcia family click here.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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