ICE to face protests after raiding Chicago pizza shop and arresting workers: They “took hard-working people”

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has sparked outrage in a Chicago neighborhood after agents raided a popular pizza shop and arrested five of its workers on Monday.

Residents of the East Side, Chicago neighborhood were initially puzzled when they noticed “a lot of police cars” stationed outside the much-loved Route 66 Pizza shop on Indianapolis Ave.

Once they realized what the commotion was all about, however, that confusion quickly turned into anger, with ICE accused of yet another “raid” targeting “hard-working people” and forcing the pizza shop to close.

“ICE raided my favorite pizza place Route 66 on the East Side neighborhood of Chicago,” Anthony Martinez, the “state commander” of community activist group Los Brown Berets of Chicago wrote on Facebook. “Took hard-working people and now they are closed,” he said.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent prepares to make an arrest at Fresh Mark, Salem, June 19, 2018. ICE is facing backlash after a more recent ‘targeted enforcement operation’ at a pizza shop in East Side, Chicago that saw five workers arrested. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty

Photos posted to social media showed the Route 66 pizza shop closed with a sign in the window saying it would remain shut down until further notice.

According to the office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, five workers at the shop were taken into ICE custody.

It is not clear whether they have since been released, or whether any of those detained face deportation proceedings. ICE has not immediately responded to a request for comment from Newsweek.

In a statement on Twitter, Lightfoot said her office would be “actively monitoring the situation and engaging with community partners for more information on this incident,” as well as to “provide assistance to the affected families.”

“Chicago is and always will be a welcoming city, and we stand firmly with our immigrant residents,” she said.


The Chicago mayor also urged the city’s residents to make sure their “friends and neighbors know their rights,” sharing an information sheet telling residents not to open their doors to ICE if they come knocking.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, community activists plan to make their support for the arrested workers clear with the Los Brown Berets group planning an “emergency protest” against ICE.

The chart below, from Statista, shows where ICE detains the most migrants.


Asking protesters to meet in the neighborhood at around 11am, Martinez said in a separate post that demonstrators would be out carrying anti-ICE signs and passing out immigration flyers.

It is unclear how many demonstrators are expected to join the protest or how long the demonstration is expected to last. Martinez has not immediately responded to a request for comment from Newsweek.

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