I applaud Sheriff Dart’s recent public statements highlighting the troubling inconsistencies in current Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies that are in place at the Cook County Jail system. The disincentive for the thousands of immigrants in our County – including lawful immigrants and permanent residents – to cooperate with local law enforcement places a great strain on our communities. I encourage ICE to work with officials such as Sheriff Dart throughout the country to provide them with a better understanding of policies and regulations. I have written a letter to President Obama and asked my Judicial Advisory Council (JAC), which was recently re-purposed to work more actively and more closely with our criminal justice system constellation, to study this matter very closely, and provide support to the Sheriff’s office in exploring possible solutions that we can undertake here in Cook County.
This serves as a perfect example of the need for our Federal lawmakers to enact comprehensive immigration reform that eliminates inconsistencies between levels of government, reduces the burden on tax payers who bear unnecessary costs and increases public safety in our local communities.