An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent shot a 53-year-old man in Chicago on Monday and some activists are pinning blame on federal immigration policies enacted under President Donald Trump.
ICE claims the man, Felix Torres, pointed a firearm at the agent during an attempt to arrest a different individual in the household. But Torres' family and lawyer have denied the claim, saying Torres does not even own a gun. Neither Torres nor any other members of the family living in the house is an undocumented immigrant, his daughter told NBC News on Monday.
"We don't know why they shot him," Carmen Torres said. "We tried to call the police, but they wouldn’t let us."
The incident occurred the same day that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions blasted sanctuary cities such as Chicago, repeating Trump's pledge to cut off federal funds for cities that shield undocumented immigrants from federal enforcement efforts.
"Fundamentally, we intend to use all the lawful authority we have to make sure that our state and local officials, who are so important to law enforcement, are in sync with the federal government," Sessions said. "Countless Americans would be alive today and countless loved ones would not be grieving today if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended," he claimed, though immigrants in fact commit less crimes than those born in the U.S.
The case is under internal review, ICE said in a statement emailed to ATTN:. "Due to this ongoing review, no further details will be released at this time," a representative said.
"We're seeing a different type of tone and a different type of immigration raids under Trump," Sophie Vodvarka, communication director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, told ATTN:. For example, nationwide ICE raids targeting convicted criminals have led to the arrest of hundreds of undocumented people with no criminal history at all, a break with the agency's practices under President Barack Obama.
While it's not yet clear what exactly transpired in Chicago, critics of the Trump administration maintain incidents like this are a predictable consequence of putting more ICE agents in the field — and that the more raids there are, the greater the chance something like this will happen again.