US

Illegal Immigrant Escapes Deportation via Restroom During Layover in Chicago

By Victor Westerkamp

A Romanian man who was being deported escaped the airport by sneaking past two ICE officers after using the bathroom, and he’s still missing.

Surveillance footage shows Radu Anghel, 32, evading federal agents on June 10 as he was being escorted to his home country Romania from Texas, with a layover at O’Hare International Airport.

After using the bathroom, instead of returning to the agents, he made for the exit and rode off in a cab, the Chicago Sun reported.

After law enforcement officials found out, they set up a perimeter to search for the man, but he had already escaped.

Anghel was first arrested on criminal charges in Hall County, Texas in October 2018. Because he had overstayed a temporary worker visa, ICE officers had him removed him to Romania on February 13, 2019, but he quickly returned.

Carl Rusnok, a spokesman for ICE, wrote in an email to the Chicago Tribune, that in May, Anghel “illegally re-entered the United States near Roma, Texas, and was arrested by immigration officials.”

Rusnok continued, “Immigration officials reinstated his previous final order of removal. On May 13, 2019, he was transferred to ICE custody in Laredo, Texas, where he remained until his planned removal to Romania via Chicago June 10, 2019.”

The escape came just before Mayor Lori Lightfoot and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson declared that the city of Chicago would no longer lend any support to federal officers’ attempts to trace illegal immigrants and expel them.

Police spokeswoman Sally Brown wrote in an email to the Chicago Tribune: “At the direction of the Mayor, no city data—including all CPD law enforcement data & records—will be shared with federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents. Supt. Eddie Johnson has also ordered CPD not to participate in any deportation raids.”

Lightfoot’s latest political move came in response to comments made by President Donald Trump on Twitter on June 21 regarding a plan to launch raids in the bigger cities to deport larger numbers of illegal immigrants.

The president retracted his statements at the last minute via Twitter saying: “At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!”

Lightfoot, meanwhile, took to the immigrant neighborhoods of the city and handed out pamphlets that said “Know Your Rights!” in an attempt to educate illegal immigrants about their options.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Lightfoot said, “I can’t imagine that the president would actually accept anything that would be reasonable. There have been a number of proposals that have been put out in the last few years, it’s not for lack of effort on the part of Democrats and Republicans of goodwill, but I don’t think he’s actually serious about doing anything.”

It is not clear whether the two ICE agents responsible for escorting Anghel will be punished or whether Anghel was handcuffed when he escaped.