Chicago immigrants arrested outside DNC

Chicago immigrants arrested outside DNC
photo via @Undocubus

Updated Sept. 6, 2012: The undocumented immigrants arrested outside the DNC Tuesday in North Carolina will only be charged with a misdemeanor for blocking traffic.

Rosi Carrasco, a Chicago resident, arrested with her husband and daughter, said that immigration agents were called but that they were not detained on any immigration charges.

Carrasco said that she and others will continue to fight for immigration reform.

"I want my daughters to be able to live a normal life," said Carrasco, who has lived with her family in Chicago for 16 years.

Her daughters, Tania and Ireri, have been active in the immigrant rights movement and they inspired her to get more involved.

"We have a right to organize," said Carrasco. "It's not fair for (the government) to keep separating families."

They also met Thursday with some of the delegates attending the convention. They hope President Obama will do more to push for comprehensive immigration reform.

Original Post:

Ten undocumented immigrants, including four from Chicago, were arrested Tuesday while protesting outside the Democratic National Convention.

They arrested include three members of the Unzueta family. Martin Unzueta, 57, his wife, Rosi Carrasco, 53, and their daughter, Sol Ireri Unzueta Carrasco, 24, were among those arrested for blocking traffic outside the DNC in Charlotte, North Carolina. Also arrested was Julio Cesar Sanchez of Chicago.

Their actions show that some Latinos are frustrated that President Obama has been unable to pass immigration reform or the DREAM Act. He did change policy to stop the deportation of undocumented youth and offer them temporary work permits. As many as 1.7 million young people who are undocumented and meet certain criteria could be eligible for work permits.

But the activists argue that this is not a permanent solution. They also are upset  the Obama Administration deported more than 1.2 million undocumented immigrants in his first three years in office, more than any president in recent history.

The activists have been on a summer bus tour of the United States visiting states from Arizona to Alabama to protest anti-immigration laws. They are calling their bus ride "No Papers, No Fear" and they are riding what they call the "Undocubus."

“I am riding the bus because I refuse to keep on limiting myself by the unjust laws that refuse to see my humanity and recognize that undocumented immigrants are as much a part of the community as everyone else,” Ireri Unzueta Carrasco said in a statement.

The activists said in an online statement that they want President Obama to use his executive authority to provide relief from deportation to all of the undocumented, not just the youth.

"We want him to be on the right side of history. And we know that it is the effort of our organized communities that will make that happen.  We want him to be remembered as the one who found the way to include the millions struggling for a better life in this country, not to be remembered as the President who deported more people than anyone else in the history of the country," the statement said.

Also a surprise supporter, actress Rosario Dawson, walked over to the protest and showed her support for those who were arrested. She held up a small banner that read "Undocumented."

“For all of you who just got arrested, I want to commend your bravery. Things will change. We are here with you,” said Dawson, according to Colorlines.

The Democratic Party has actively reached out to Latinos to include at least 11 Latinos in speeches and introductions from the podium. Keynote speaker and mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro spoke Tuesday night. Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will speak Wednesday night and actress Eva Longoria will speak Thursday night.

But the party can't forget that many other Latinos not inside that hall are upset with the president for not doing enough for immigration reform. He promised to get it passed in his first year in office.

This is why some Latinos are only giving President Obama lukewarm support.

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