Raids in Northern Suburbs Target Scores of Immigrants

August 27, 2007

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Authorities have detained dozens of immigrants in suburbs north of Chicago in raids that began Sunday.

Chicago Public Radio's Chip Mitchell has more.

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A source in the Lake County sheriff's department says immigration agents and federal marshals have arrested at least 26 people, most from homes in the city of Waukegan. The source says the raids are targeting “approximately 96” immigrants.

Gary Graf is pastor of Holy Family, Waukegan's largest Catholic parish. He says the arrests will set back reconciliation efforts in the city.

GRAF:  There's a feeling of tremendous fear in the community. The rules have all changed, and people now need some time to get some sense of getting their bearings.

But a statement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the individuals pose a threat to public safety. The statement says further details won't be available until the operation concludes.

The Lake County sheriff's office confirms it's participating in the raids.

I'm Chip Mitchell, Chicago Public Radio.