Immigration Activists Block Downtown Intersection

By Robert Rodriguez
|  Thursday, Aug 18, 2011  |  Updated 4:54 PM CDT
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Coming a day after immigration reform activists' protests outside of President Barack Obama's 2012 Chicago campaign headquarters as part of a National Day of Action, immigrant advocates rallied yet again on Wednesday.

Coming a day after immigration reform activists' protests outside of President Barack Obama's 2012 Chicago campaign headquarters as part of a National Day of Action, immigrant advocates rallied yet again on Wednesday.

At least 10 people were arrested Wednesday during during an anti-deportation protest in downtown Chicago.

The protest came in response to the Department of Homeland Security's public hearing on the federal Secure Communities deportation program at IBEW Hall, at 600 W. Washington Blvd.

Under the program, the fingerprints of anyone who's arrested go to Homeland Security and can lead to deportation.

"It's really a color-blind system. Any individual, criminally arrested, regardless of race, color, sex, those fingerprints are going to be run through the Department of Homeland Security database," explained Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Jon Gurele.

But the protestors say the policy separates families, destroys the relationship between police and the communities they serve and drains law enforcement resources.

Wednesday's protests, which began at 5:00 p.m. at Haymarket Memorial on 622 W. Randolph St., led to the blocking off of the intersection at Jefferson and Washington Streets for about 10 minutes, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Activists pulled a chain from one light post to another to block off the intersection as the protestors demanded to be let in to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's hearing just a block away.

The 6 p.m. hearing was disrupted by the crowd's chants, saying, "Send the cops out, let the people in."

Just two weeks ago, ICE broke their signed agreement with the state of Illinois, telling Gov. Pat Quinn that he must participate in the program after his attempt to opt out of the program on May 4th. Illinois was the first state to try and abandon the program and was soon followed by N.Y. and Mass.

The rally came one day after immigration reform activists' protests outside of President Barack Obama's 2012 Chicago campaign headquarters as part of a National Day of Action.

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