Hours before Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new crackdown on sanctuary cities on Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Chicago raided the home of Felix Torres and shot him. Torres was taken to the hospital and remains in serious condition.
DNAinfo reports that agents busted into the 53-year-old’s home around 6:30 AM. According to their account, Torres aimed a gun at agents before an official shot him. They admitted that Torres was not the target of the raid, but declined to say who they intended to arrest.
However, according to his daughter, Carmen Torres, none of the family members are undocumented immigrants, and the Torres family has lived in the home for at least 30 years. She said that eight family members live in the house, including her infant child, an infant nephew, and a nine-year-old nephew.
“They didn’t say anything. They just came in and pointed pistols in our faces and dragged us out,” she said of the agents. “We didn’t even have time to dress or grab milk for the baby.”
Carmen also said that the agents are lying about her father waving a gun. “It’s a lie when they say he was holding a gun He doesn’t even own a gun,” she continued. “They shot my dad. They shot him, and I don’t know why.”
Thomas Hallock, Torres’s lawyer, told CBS Chicago, “He was shot immediately, or almost immediately, upon opening his door to see what the commotion was outside of his residence.” He also said that Torres is a permanent resident of the United States and that his children are US citizens.
“The community’s on edge right now,” 36th Ward Alderman Gilbert Villegas told CBS. “Can you imagine someone coming to your house at 6:30 in the morning, breaking down the door, guns drawn and you’re a U.S. citizen?”
Chicago is a sanctuary city, meaning that local law enforcement does not cooperate with federal immigration efforts to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. Federal courts ruled in 2014 that ICE detention requests without due process violate the Fourth Amendment. However, Sessions has announced that the Department of Justice would deny grant requests to jurisdictions that refused to fully cooperate with federal immigration officials. The punishment is part of Trump’s broader immigration plan, which includes deporting undocumented immigrants, banning Syrian refugees, and temporarily barring nationals from six Muslim-majority countries.
“We’re going to have to talk to [the Chicago Police Department] to find out if this was a coordinated effort, because if it was in any way, that raises concerns about us as a sanctuary city,” Villegas told DNAinfo. “Is this our future in Chicago with Donald Trump as president?”
“I’m conflicted because I haven’t got all the details [of the incident] yet, but from the way this has started to play out, it looks like an overstep by an overzealous ICE agent who’s just trying to follow Trump’s orders,” he said.