The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is piloting a six-week program in Chicago this fall called “Citizens Academy,” instructing civilians on defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests. ICE claims the program is not intended to deputize civilians, but the local government of Chicago, the ACLU, and other civil rights organizations have raised concerns that this will create state-sponsored vigilantes.
Just the announcement of this program has sent shockwaves of fear through the immigrant community. These trainings in “targeted arrests” merely serve to perpetuate racial discrimination against immigrants. “Firearms familiarization” will encourage vigilantes to make citizen arrests and cause untold, unnecessary violence against people just trying to live their lives. We cannot be silent about this — we must stop it.
Email ICE’s Chicago field office and tell them to shut this program down.