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ICIRR condemns alleged sexual abuse of asylum seekers by Chicago police officers; renews call for permanent solutions on housing and shelter for all Chicagoans

STATEMENT from Lawrence Benito, executive director of ICIRR regarding allegations of Chicago police officers sexually abusing new arrivals staying in police stations: 

ICIRR condemns the alleged sexual abuse by Chicago police officers of asylum seekers who have been sheltering at a southwest side police station. All people have a basic human right to safety, and those who have already fled dangerous conditions in their native countries should not have to endure further abuse and trauma as they seek asylum in what should be a safe new home. The fact that uniformed representatives of this city, which should be welcoming to all, are accused of such behavior makes these allegations all the more horrific and despicable. 

“Sheltering in police stations has been and remains insufficient even as an interim solution for new arrivals, and from the beginning our members have been advocating for permanent solutions. These allegations, regardless of the results of any investigation, demonstrate the urgency with which the city must establish long term solutions for temporary shelter as well as permanent housing. 

“ICIRR will continue to monitor the investigation and advocate for the safety and well-being of new arrivals to Chicago. We intend to follow-up with the city regarding accountability and to ensure repair for those harmed.

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