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.