Chicago Protesters: Don't Deport Our Economy

Nearly three dozen, including Chicago Ald. George Cardenas, were arrested

By Christian Farr and BJ Lutz
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 1:45 PM CDT
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PHOTOS: Wrigley Immigration Protest

Christian Farr

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Carrying trash bags emblazoned with dollar signs a crowd of about 200 immigration reform advocates marched downtown Chicago on Tuesday afternoon demanding something be done about this country's immigration issue.  

Nearly three dozen people, including Ald. George Cardenas (12th), were arrested after they marched from Federal Plaza to the U.S. Customs, Immigration and Enforcement Office to urge President Obama to keep his campaign promise of immigration reform and to bring an end to Arizona's new immigration law.

They were charged with blocking a federal building; each received a $175 citation.

The trash bags they carried were intended to signify the money the country would earn if reform passes.

"We are convinced that fixing this immigration system is good for immigrants, but it's also good for American workers," said the SEIU's Eliseo Medina.

"I want people in the Americas to recognize that there's many of us that have sacrificed long hours studying, long hours working two [and] three jobs to make it," Cardenas said prior to his arrest.

ICE later issued a statement:

"ICE fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference.  It is imperative, however, that these actions are conducted in a manner that does not endanger our employees or the general public.  ICE recognizes that our nation’s broken immigration system requires serious solutions, and we fully support comprehensive immigration reform efforts.  While we continue to work with Congress to enact reform, ICE remains committed to smart, effective immigration enforcement that focuses first on convicted criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety."

President Obama, meanwhile, met Tuesday with Republican Congressmen on issues including immigration.  He also ordered 1,200 National Guardsmen to help along the Mexican border.

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