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By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed a measure Tuesday strengthening Chicago's sanctuary policies by removing exceptions where local police can cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The revised ordinance, which easily cleared the City Council last month, follows years of campaigning by immigrant rights advocates who’ve said issues of immigration and the criminal justice system are separate.

Previously, Chicago's Welcoming City ordinance allowed police to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in limited circumstances, including if a person living in the country without legal permission had an outstanding criminal warrant, a conviction or was named in the city's gang database.

“Chicago has been a welcoming city and a city of immigrants since its very founding, and proudly so,” Lightfoot said.

Opponents, including aldermen, cited concerns about crime and protecting gang members.

But supporters said immigrants can now call authorities and cooperate with investigations without fear. Activists, who said previous sanctuary protections fell short, praised the move as a step toward addressing conflicts between police and communities throughout Chicago.

“No matter someone’s history, layering deportation on top of an already flawed and racist criminal justice system is a discriminatory and wrong,” said a statement from a coalition called the Chicago Immigration Working Group.


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NJ: Montclair Retiree Shared Sex Chats, Child Porn Pics With Boys, Tried To Lure One

A Montclair retiree had sex chats with underage boys, sent them pornographic images and even tried to lure one to have sex with him, said authorities, who urged any other potential victims to come forward.

An unidentified social media service tipped off authorities that Keith Matheis, 67, had messaged a child exploitation file to someone, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said Tuesday.

The Elmwood Park native, it turned out, “engaged in sexually explicit chats with multiple users he believed were under 16 years old,” Grewal said.

He also “arranged to meet one suspected minor child in Montclair in order to have sex with him,” the attorney general said.

Matheis also sent “child sexual abuse materials” to several recipients – including a photo of his genitals to “a victim he believed was 15,” he said.

Detectives from the state Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau arrested Matheis during a raid at his home on Monday, Grewal said.

They charged him with luring, showing obscene materials to an underage victim for sexual gratification and possession and distribution of child pornography, among other counts.

Matheis remained held Tuesday in the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court.

Grewal, meanwhile, said the actions of the “dangerous child predator” have raised “concerns about other potential victims.”

He urged anyone with “relevant information” about Matheis to contact state investigators confidentially at: 888-648-6007.

“Cases such as this one highlight the need for parents to vigilantly monitor their children’s online activity and educate their children about the potential dangers of social media,” Division of Criminal Justice Director Veronica Allende added.

She and Grewal commended the detectives and attorneys of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau who conducted the investigation and made the arrest. They also thanked Montclair police for their assistance.


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