Judicial Watch Files Open Records Lawsuit Against Chicago Police Department Over Illegal Alien Sanctuary Policy
JANUARY 03, 2007
Request Seeks Documents Pertaining to Policies Governing the Interaction between Police Officers and Illegal Aliens
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed an open records lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department related to the department’s policies concerning illegal immigration. Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Chicago Police Department, #06CH28084), filed on December 22, 2006 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, asks the court to compel the Chicago Police Department to comply with Judicial Watch’s October 13, 2006 Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking documents pertaining to policies and procedures governing the interaction between Chicago police officers and known or suspected illegal aliens.
Judicial Watch began its investigation after learning of a resolution under consideration by the Cook County, Illinois Board of Commissioners that would declare Cook County a “Sanctuary County” for illegal aliens. The resolution seeks to conform the Cook County Sheriff’s Office immigration policy to a Chicago Police Department policy that prevents county employees from assisting with immigration enforcement and/or reporting suspected illegal immigrants to federal authorities. Judicial Watch launched an investigation to determine whether or not these policies and procedures are “consistent with the requirements of federal law.”
“Sanctuary policies are affront to the rule of law, worsen illegal immigration crises, and put American citizens at risk,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Local police departments cannot continue to undermine federal immigration law. The Chicago Police Department should be required to comply with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act so taxpayers can understand its immigration policies.”
Judicial Watch’s lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department is part of a nationwide campaign to help enforce our nation’s immigration laws. For example, Judicial Watch is battling ACLU lawyers in a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department over “Special Order 40,” a policy that prohibits police officers from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status, and reportedly restricts police officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials. Judicial Watch is asking the court to prohibit the LAPD from expending taxpayer funds to enforce and maintain Special Order 40.
In addition to the LAPD, Judicial Watch is also investigating the immigration policies of the Orange County, California Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Houston, Texas and Westchester County, New York. (Judicial Watch is also challenging taxpayer-funded illegal alien day labor sites in Virginia and California.)
- Letter to the Cook County Board of Commissioners from JW Director of Litigation, Paul Orfanedes
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