Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) is defending the Windy City's "sanctuary city" policy after an illegal immigrant, who the city refused to turn over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, raped a 3-year-old girl in a McDonald's restroom.
According to WLS-TV, Christopher Puente, 34, was being held in Chicago police custody stemming from a June 2019 arrest for theft. ICE said they expected CPD to hold Puente until he could be transferred into ICE custody, so that he could be deported.
However, CPD did not hold Puente, and he was subsequently released into the general public.
Then, last month, Puente allegedly lured a 3-year-old girl inside his restroom stall at a Chicago McDonald's and raped the child, leading to her hospitalization.
According to prosecutors, Puente motioned for the girl to enter his stall, when she did so, the defendant closed the stall and locked it. Puente said that he had the victim by the back of the head, covered mouth, and told her "shhhh."
Prosecutors said the girl's father heard his daughter's cries and desperately tried to open the locked stall. He could see her feet dangling off the ground, so he grabbed her legs and pulled her out from under the stall. He ran out of the bathroom with her, leaving Puente inside the bathroom.
After his arrest, Puente admitted to the crime.
"(Puente) said ... what happened with the little girl was 'wrong and a very bad thing,'" Assistant State Attorney James Murphy said, WLS reported.
Despite the horrific crime, Lightfoot lashed out at ICE and claimed the crime occurred because immigration authorities are not properly doing their jobs.
"If ICE is complaining, then they should do their job better," she said, according to WLS.
"They're critical because we have said very clearly we are a welcoming city, a sanctuary city. Chicago Police Department will not cooperate with ICE on any immigration-related business," she said. "And that's affected their ability to conduct immigration raids across the city. But that's exactly our intention. We have to make sure our police department is seen as a legitimate force in all our communities."
Meanwhile, the Chicago Police Department said it will continue not cooperating with ICE despite the vile crime.
"The Chicago Police Department remains committed to protecting all Chicago residents regardless of their immigration status," CPD said in a statement. "Our pledge to restrict ICE access to our information systems and our refusal to cooperate with ICE immigration enforcement measures has not changed."
Puente was previously deported in 2014 and has multiple aggravated felony convictions. He is currently being held without bond.