Labor Union Resolution
Statewide organizational sign-on letter
Civil disobedience in Chicago stops deportations
"I am willing to get arrested tomorrow because the massive deportations being undertaken by the Obama Administration are tearing apart families, separating children from their parents, risking the lives of disabled immigrants and vulnerable refugees, and spreading terror into our communities. I will be arrested because America needs to understand immigration reform is not merely a political issue; our broken system is a moral disaster unfolding in our nation. Civil disobedience is important at this point because it signals to our leaders that the current situation is so unjust and unsustainable that people are no longer willing to comply or be complicit in the injustices committed by our government." - one of the May 1 DC protesters.
In the wake of the passage of Arizona’s SB 1070, immigrants and civil rights activists across the country have erupted in action against the draconian law. On April 26th, just three days after Governor Jan Brewer signed what is now being called the “Papers Please” bill, a group of interfaith leaders from Chicago organized an all night vigil and protest. This action resulted in the arrest of 22 religious and community leaders as part of nation-wide escalating actions demanding President Barack Obama to put an end to raids and deportations and in reaction to SB 1070.
In this protest, immigrant families, civil rights activists, and religious leaders from Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish congregations rallied together at the Broadview Deportation Center to declare their outrage with the increase of deportations under the Obama administration - an estimated 1,100 a day - and to publicly protest AZ SB 1070. With hundreds at the rally, dozens of us put up tents and stayed the night to await the arrival of people being deported.
The immigrants arrived at Broadview Detention Center in the middle of the night, in chains. Most had been detained for weeks, if not months. They were transported in the middle of the night as criminals to be deported without having chance to say goodbye to their families. As the vans and buses arrived, the crowd chanted cries of “Si, se puede!” encouraging those within that they were not alone in this struggle.
At dawn, the gates to Broadview opened and the first van filled with immigrants about to be deported began to descend the driveway. Twenty-two religious leaders and immigrant rights activists took to the streets blocking the path of the van. Unable to make it through, the van eventually retreated back into the Broadview gated parking lot and the hundreds in the crowd erupted into cheers and elevated chants of “Si, se puede!”
This civil disobedience came in response to the then approaching deadline of May 1st for federal immigration reform. As federal immigration reform continues to be delayed, and out of control immigration enforcement continues to tear apart families, acts of civil disobedience like that which we witnessed in Chicago will likely increase.
Myths & Facts
Myth: The United States cannot absorb present immigrant numbers
Fact: 11.5% of the U.S. population is foreign-born today. At the start of the last century it was 15%. Previous waves of immigrants were met with
suspicion, too, yet all of them are now saluted for the contributions they have made.
Get more of the facts >>
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