Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



Federal immigration chief: Cook County jail policy may be illegal

Thursday, January 12, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

Cook County’s controversial illegal immigration policy, which critics say paved the way for a suspect in a deadly drunken driving crash to bond out of jail and disappear, may very well violate federal law, the nation’s immigration director said in a letter to County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“This ordinance undermines public safety in Cook County,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton wrote in a Jan. 4 letter to Preckwinkle. “In addition to undermining local public safety, the [ordinance] may also violate federal law.”

The letter was dated the same day the Chicago Sun-Times and other media outlets reported the case of Saul Chavez, 36, who was charged in a deadly hit-and-run crash on the city’s Northwest Side back in June 2011. His family posted 10 percent, or $25,000, of the $250,000 bond, and he was released in late November. He hasn’t been seen since.

In the days after Chavez’s arrest, immigration officials issued a “detainer” for him, asking that the county jail notify the agency when the suspect posted bond and to detain him up to 48 hours so agents could pick him up for possible deportation proceedings.

But in September, a majority of county commissioners passed an ordinance instructing the jail to ignore the immigration detainers — describing the detainers as requests and not arrest warrants, as a federal court ruled earlier in the year.

Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Preckwinkle championed the measure, saying the detainers sometimes targeted U.S. citizens and were an added expense the jail can’t afford.

Chavez is charged in the death of William “Denny” McCann, 66, killed by an alleged drunken driver as McCann crossed a Logan Square Street last summer. McCann’s family says Chavez, who lists addresses in Chicago and outside Mexico City, would still be in custody had the county not changed its policy.

At a news conference Thursday, Preckwinkle said her heart goes out to the McCann family, but the issue with Chavez is that his bond was too low — especially considering he had a felony drunken driving conviction on his record.

“I want all of you to know that I’m outraged — I’m outraged by what happened to the McCann family. It’s a tragedy [that] could have been avoided,” she told reporters.

Preckwinkle, a Democrat, said she supported a proposed amendment to the detainer ordinance — sponsored by three Republicans commissioners — that would at least allow the county sheriff to open the lines of communication with federal immigration officials. But it was unclear what that would achieve.

The chief sponsor, Commissioner Tim Schneider, said he would seek to fine-tune his ordinance and open the door for the county to again honor the detainers.

As for Morton, the head of federal immigration agency outlines in his letter — provided by Preckwinkle’s office Thursday — how the county ignored 268 detainers issued for jail inmates, many of whom were arrested locally for “serious and violent offenses like assault of a police officer.”

Preckwinkle says she’s angry that the discussion of this issue has devolved into “fear-mongering.”

“I’m angry because people are trying to use this complicated issue to divide our communities. This type of fear-mongering is distasteful, and it has no place in the public policy arena,” she said.

Preckwinkle shook her head over the immigration chief’s letter, requesting an amendment to the ordinance “to avoid any legal conflict with federal law.”

“I just got this letter last night, and we’re crafting a response to Mr. Morton, and we will be happy to talk to him,” Preckwinkle said. “I will just tell you I have not heard a word from him — not a phone call or letter in the last four months — so it’s fascinating I get this in the last few days.”



Recent Headlines

Cook County Board approves $6.2 billion budget for 2020, without increases in taxes or fees
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Commentary: Cook County forest preserve budget won’t meet needs of Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Botanic Garden and other land
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Re-enactors portray 1600’s through Civil War during annual Settlers’ Day
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Opportunity for small developers, and distressed neighborhoods: The Cook County Land Bank Authority celebrates 500th property rehab
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

50,000 Cook County food stamp recipients need to find jobs to continue getting benefits in 2020
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
WGN News Chicago

Housing protection advances for those with past convictions — prompting congratulations, concerns
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Hewn, baker of bread used at Sweetgreen, is moving to larger space in Evanston to accommodate demand
Monday, November 18, 2019
Chicago Tribune

COMMENTARY: Fritz Kaegi: Benefits of property tax assessment reform are showing in Cook County
Friday, November 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County forest preserve picnic, camping permits for 2020 season to go on sale Nov. 15
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s public defender plans to ask Illinois Supreme Court to reverse decision that permits holding preteens in custody despite county ordinance
Monday, November 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Clerk Yarbrough touts ‘method to her madness,’ says hiring criticism ‘is purely personal’
Saturday, November 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Nonprofit hospitals forced to defend hundreds of millions in property tax breaks
Friday, November 08, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Land Bank must serve neighborhoods, not City Hall insiders
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

After judge’s dismissal, Skokie appeals federal lawsuit over Evanston water rates
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 teens in DCFS care were shackled and handcuffed during drive from a youth shelter: ‘Totally unacceptable,’ agency says
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The lifelong damage we do in Cook County when we jail kids as young as 10
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Unfair assessments lawsuit dismissed after assessor makes changes — full reform called a ‘years-long process’
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Watch out, Cook County land bank. The public could foreclose — on you.
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles raises property tax about $21 per average household
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Pioneer Press

Nov. 15 is Opening Day for Forest Preserves of Cook County Picnic and Special Event Permit Sales, 2020 Camping Reservations
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP