Chicago area immigration vigil leads to arrests

The civil disobedience has begun.

Around two dozen immigrant rights activists were arrested Tuesday morning outside an immigration detention center in Broadview, a suburb west of Chicago.

They blocked the street and temporarily stopped a van transporting two immigrant detainees going  to Kenosha County Jail, according to Immigrations Customs and Enforcement.*

Across the country expect to see more actions like this and major rallies for immigration rights on Saturday which is May Day.

For this movement to succeed it has to go beyond the Latino community. I saw signs of this Monday evening when I attended the start of the vigil outside the Broadview immigration detention center.

There were not just Latino leaders of faith but those representing different faiths and ethnic backgrounds.

Rabbi Bruce Elder with the Jewish
Council on Urban Affairs
said American values are not about
deporting and separating families.

"I'm not here to say shame on
Arizona. I'm here to say shame on America that allows an Arizona to
happen," Elder said. "A country that values families, values each and
every family regardless from where they came."

They called for comprehensive immigration reform and protested the new immigration law in Arizona they fear will lead to racial profiling of all Latinos, whether they are immigrants or U.S. citizens.a The law says police can stop people if there is "reasonable suspicion" they could be undocumented. And they have to produce proof of their immigration status.

More than 30 percent of people in Arizona are Hispanic and most of them are not undocumented. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, only 5 percent of the undocumented population in the United States resides in Arizona.

But all Latinos or brown-skinned people will be subject to "reasonable suspicion."

The religious leaders said that our country has a moral obligation to support immigrants and speak out against such repressive laws.

Rev. Dan Dale of the Wellington United Church of Christ said it is a commandment that we help immigrants.

"Whether or not we are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, we are taught we must offer hospitality to the stranger, to the immigrant, to the migrant," Dale said. "For we were all immigrants at some point. Todos somos inmigrantes."

Father Charles Dahm, of  St. Pius V Catholic Church in Pilsen, said he asked people at mass if they planned to attend the immigration march this Saturday on May Day.  He asked them to stand up in support and they did.

"Aqui estamos y no vamos," Father Dahm led around 100 people in a chant. "Here we are and we're not going."

*This blog contains corrected information. Protesters did not block a van with undocumented immigrants bound for deportation. The van contained two two ICE detainees going to Kenosha County Jail, one of the jails where ICE houses detainees.


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  • <3 for this post. I'm linking it in a shout out for the May Day March on my CN blog. And I'm definitely following your blog now. Best, Kate Sosin The New Gender

  • This article is full of lies. The AZ law does not allow police to make contact based on suspicion, rather it allows police to request ID from people who have already been detained for breaking the law.
    Basically, we are saying: If you are here illegally and you get caught breaking a law, you get deported. What is wrong with that????

  • Hi Teresa. My husband was deported from the Broadview Detention Center in 2001. I wrote a blog post today about his deportation, and my thoughts about the Tuesday demonstration:

    Saludos, The Deportee's Wife

  • Dear President Obama:

    I'm planning to move my family and extended family into Mexico for my health, and I would like to ask you to assist me.

    We're planning to simply walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico , and we'll need your help to make a few arrangements.

    We plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws.

    I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Calderon, that I'm on my way over?

    Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:

    1. Free medical care for my entire family.

    2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.

    3. Please print all Mexican government forms in English.

    4. I want my grandkids to be taught Spanish by English-speaking (bi-lingual) teachers.

    5. Tell their schools they need to include classes on American culture and history.

    6. I want my grandkids to see the American flag on one of the flag poles at their school.

    7. Please plan to feed my grandkids at school for both breakfast and lunch.

    8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services.

    9. I do plan to get a car and drive in Mexico but I don't plan to purchase car insurance, and I probably won't make any special effort to learn local traffic laws.

    10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from their president to leave me alone, please be sure that every patrol car has at least one English-speaking officer.

    11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my house top, put U. S. flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.

    12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, or have any labor or tax laws enforced on any business I may start.

    13. Please have the president tell all the Mexican people to be extremely nice and never say critical things about me or my family, or about the strain we might place on their economy.

    14. I want to receive free food stamps.

    15. Naturally, I'll expect free rent subsidies.

    16. I'll need Income tax credits so although I don't pay Mexican Taxes, I'll receive money from the government.

    17. Please arrange it so that the Mexican Gov't pays $4,500 to help me buy a new car.

    18. Oh yes, I almost forgot, please enroll me free into the Mexican Social Security program so that I'll get a monthly income in retirement.

    I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all his people who walk over to the U.S. from Mexico . I am sure that President Calderon won't mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.

    Thank you so much for your kind help. You're the man!!!

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