Illinois Families Separated by Deportation Ask President Obama for Moratorium
March and rally on first day of the President’s 2nd term features stories of families broken up by immigration authorities, highlighting the need for policy that keeps families together.
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.
Below is a list of speakers at today’s march.
Josefina Mora is a mother of three United States citizen between 5 and 10 years old. Her husband, Urbano Olmedo Lopez, has been away from his family since November 2012, after he was turned over to immigration authorities by local police during a driver’s license check point. When he was stopped he was on his way to court for another traffic ticket involving his lack of driver’s license. He arrived to the United States in 1985, at the age of 9. He has one prior deportation from his youth, but for the last 12 years that he has been married to Josefina, he has stayed out of trouble with the police and immigration. Josefina describes Olmedo as a good parent and a hard-working husband. One of the hardest things for he has been the effect his detention has had on her children, one of whom has a hernia and the other an ear problem. She says it has been difficult to keep up with their medical needs without her husband, as he used to take them to the before his detention. Josefina also fears that the detention is having a psychological effect on her children, and is looking to take them to counseling, “I see them cry every night, and ask me when their father is coming home,” she explains.