The City of Chicago should cancel DUI checkpoints planned for this weekend in the Albany Park neighborhood in consideration of panic caused by the announced immigration raids. OCAD will be hosting a legal clinic and know your rights workshop this weekend in Albany Park to let people know about their rights and guide them in organizing to defend themselves against the raids.
For the last two weeks the Albany Park neighborhood has been the subject of daily rumors and reports that immigration enforcement is conducting searches or raids in local grocery stores and apartment buildings. Although most of the recent rumors have turned out to be false, they stem from fear created by the mass, nationally-coordinated raids by the Department of Homeland Security targeting Central American families that began in early January. These raids have caused panic around the country, including in Chicago’s Albany Park, a neighborhood with a high Central American population where many recent migrants have made their home.
On Tuesday the Chicago-based immigrant rights group Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) received a press release written by the Office of News Affairs at the Chicago Police Department (CPD) regarding a “DUI Strike Force Patrol in the Albany Park (17th) District” this Saturday January 16th and 17th. According to the press release, the program will “saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continuously monitor vehicular traffic.”
“It is absolutely irresponsible for the City of Chicago to be setting up any sort of checkpoints in a community that at the same time is being terrorized by immigration agents,” said Rosi Carrasco, an organizer with OCAD. “We will do our best this weekend to inform people of their rights and protect them from both immigration raids and the untimely Chicago police activities. In the current climate, we expect that if there is a ‘saturation’ of police, there will be reports of raids in Albany Park this weekend. The worst thing the City can do is create more confusion and panic,” she concluded.
This is not the first time that the City of Chicago’s use of DUI checkpoints disproportionately affects communities of color. Last fall, a report from the Chicago Tribune showed that that 84% of these DUI checkpoints were taking place in Latino and Black communities. OCAD called attention to the city’s role in criminalizing immigrants and contributing to the deportation dragnet, pointing to the use of DUI charges by immigration enforcement to prioritize people for deportation.
Contact: Rosi Carrasco, 773-656-0881
Irene Romulo, 708-703-6258