The immigrant community in Chicago is calling for the President to grant immediate relief from deportations by ordering a moratorium. While Congress deliberates, they say, the President can use his executive authority to make immediate changes to reverse his record on deportations. President Obama’s first term was marred by a record 1.5 million people deported; 409,000 in the past year alone. While he has announced his drive for immigration reform, the Chicago area witnessed an increase in aggressive enforcement. The week after President Obama’s reelection, ICE performed unheard of raids on an area Pallet factory and a Northwest side day laborer corner.
“It makes no sense to be removing people from the country who you say you want to legalize,” explains Rev. Jose Landaverde of Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Church. “For the past four years my church has been filled with crying children whose parents have been taken away. The President needs to stop deportations and these families’ suffering immediately.”
Eric Rodriguez, Director of the Latino Union of Chicago, adds “We want the President to be on the right side of history. His second term will define his legacy. Will he be the President to deport more people than any other in history or the President responsible for championing inclusion and equality? The path to citizenship starts with a moratorium on deportations.”
On January 21st, Inauguration day and Martin Luther King Day, families of those recently targeted in immigration raids and supporting organizations are calling for a March and rally for a moratorium on deportations starting at 11:00am at Daley Plaza and marching to Federal Plaza.