Trump Blames Chicago Crime on Illegal Immigrants

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President Trump charged that Chicago’s crime problems are caused partly by gang members, “many of whom are not even legally in our country,” the Chicago Tribune reports. Trump, addressing a conference of police chiefs and sheriffs, urged them to “turn in” bad actors to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. “I want you to turn in the bad ones,” Trump said. “We’ll get them out of our country and bring them back to where they came from and we’ll do it fast.” Trump offered no evidence that gang members in the country illegally are behind much of the violence. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said, “I don’t know anyone in Chicago who believes” illegal immigrants cause Chicago’s gang problems, she said. “Unfortunately, the difficulties that we have are homegrown. They are not a function of illegal immigrants.”

Addressing the Major Cities Chiefs Association, Trump said, “In Chicago, more than 4,000 people were shot last year alone, and the rate so far this year has been even higher. What is going on in Chicago?” The Tribune said shootings are up 8 percent so far this year, but homicides are down about 20 percent. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office questioned Trump’s sincerity. “With all the talk and no action, you have to wonder whether the administration is serious about working with us on solutions, or if they are just using violence in this great city to score political points,” said spokesman Matt McGrath. “We’ve been clear, there are ways the federal government can help, and we’re happy to partner with the administration whenever they decide to stop talking and start acting.”

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