I distributed the following statement March 10, 2018, at the League of Women Voters candidates debate at Hadley Middle School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A video of the Republican candidates for DuPage County (Illinois) Board-District 4 debate can be found HERE (view starting at the 1:00:00 (one hour) mark where this issue is raised):
Statement by Peter LaBarbera, Naperville resident, on Sheriff John Zaruba’s Order to Not Honor I.C.E. Detainers on Jailed Illegal Immigrants
My name is Peter LaBarbera. I am a 15-year resident of Naperville, Illinois, in DuPage County, married, with five voting children, who grew up as a boy on a home on County Farm Road, just down the street from the seat of county government. I was outraged to learn through FOIA’d (Freedom of Information Act) emails that longtime and outgoing DuPage Sheriff John Zaruba reportedly ordered a change in County policy of non-cooperation with I.C.E. (Immigration Control & Enforcement) detainers of jailed illegal immigrants, on February 17, 2017–just one day after his Office was protested by radical “progressives” who demanded amnesty for illegals.
I.C.E. detainers merely request that law enforcement hold imprisoned illegal immigrants for a short period (not more than 48 hours) so they can vet them for potential deportation. We are talking about jailed illegal immigrants who may have committed serious crimes—and Zaruba’s order made it more difficult for I.C.E. to detain these individuals. I have attached copies of the FOIA’d emails here. I was stunned not only that Sheriff Zaruba would take it upon himself to change this common-sense policy, which protects the safety of DuPage citizens, but that he would do so apparently to appease far-left protesters (including Green Party activists and socialists) who picketed his Office the day before.
This is not Cook County or Marin County, home of San Francisco. This is DuPage County, where I thought preserving law-and-order and protecting actual United States citizens was the top priority of my elected officials. Why was this action taken without proper debate and the engagement and deliberation of DuPage’s duly elected public servants?
As a DuPage citizen and voter, I demand further investigation into this troubling Zaraba order—which somehow was kept secret from the public for a year—even though other people serving in law enforcement knew about it while regular citizens like me were left in the dark. (The Sheriff’s 2017 capitulation to leftist, pro-illegal-immigration activists came six months before Gov. Rauner signed a bill into law [Illinois Trust Act] that similarly makes it harder for federal immigration authorities to apprehend and detain criminal illegal aliens.)
What did Zaruba protégé Frank Bibbiano, who is running on a pledge to “balance transparency with the public and media while protecting … the safety of our citizens,” know about the anti-I.C.E.-cooperation edict? Did he have a role in it? What does Bibbiano’s opponent in the race for Sheriff, James Mendrick, have to say about it?
We, the voting citizens of DuPage County, deserve far better than this from our elected officials.
March 10, 2018