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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:22pm
Wed Apr 16, 2014

Chicago Activists To Demand A Stop To Deportations On May Day

Activists participating in the upcoming May Day workers' march and celebration in the city of Chicago will deliver a clear message to President Barack Obama — two million deportations is too many.

May 1, or May Day, is an international day of honoring workers. Since 2006, an annual May Day rally has been held in Chicago, highlighting immigrant rights as an important aspect of the workers' rights debate.

Thousands of people attended last year'sMay Day event in the city to rally for comprehensive immigration reform legislation, which is now stalled in Congress.

This year, the main message is about deportations. The goal is to "try and keep the pressure on the [Obama] administration to do everything that's in their power to defer action to a broader group of immigrants working here in the United States, and do that quickly," said Susan Hurley with Chicago Jobs with Justice.

"We have approached or passed a milestone of 2 million people being deported [under the Obama administration], and that's just too many families being separated," she added. "It's got to stop, and if we can't get legislation that will fix our broken system, then we need to back off the deportations until we can get that legislation." 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:57pm
Tue Apr 8, 2014

Immigrant Rights Activists Arrested While Protesting Deportations At Broadview Detention Center (VIDEO)

Eleven immigrant rights activists were arrested in Broadview Tuesday morning after linking arms in the street and blocking traffic near a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center to protest deportations.

Before the arrests, a few hundred people picketed outside the detention center, located at 1930 Beach St., as part of the national "Not One More" deportation campaign, urging President Barack Obama to use his executive authority to halt deportations immediately. Nationwide, activists with the campaign took part in more than 80 immigration-related actions over the weekend.

On Monday, local immigrant rights advocates began to march from ICE's downtown Chicago field office to the Broadview detention center, making stops along the way for a prayer vigil and other actions.

The two-day event culminated with a rally in front of the detention center, where activists chanted “Two million, Too many” to raise awareness about the nearly 2 million people who have been deported under the Obama administration.

"He has the record of two million deportations. More than any other president in the history of the United States," said Reyna Wences with Undocumented Illinois. "In only six years, we've seen families torn apart. We've seen the pain that places like Broadview represent for our families, and so we're also here to tell the community, 'Hey this is in your backyard. This is happening right here, and we came to shut it down.'"

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:37pm
Thu Mar 20, 2014

Chicago's Food Deserts Are A 'Civil Rights Issue', Experts Say

While the population of food deserts may have arguably decreased over recent years in Chicago, a number of obstacles still remain when it comes to expanding access to healthy foods in the city, according to panelists who discussed the topic Thursday afternoon.

The Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hosted the talk in Chicago to hear from public, private and non-profit leaders who work on food access issues. Back in 2011, the committee issued its own report about Chicago food deserts, a problem it says must be addressed as a civil rights issue.

Food deserts are communities that lack healthy, fresh food options. In Chicago, African-American and Latino communities tend to face the greatest food access challenges. The Emanuel administration has worked to expand food access by bringing in new grocery stores, additional farmers markets and more produce carts, among other efforts.

But panelists at the discussion, held at Kennedy-King College on Chicago's South Side, noted that poverty and high prices for healthy foods are big barriers standing in the way of eliminating food deserts. 

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
11:55am
Thu Mar 20, 2014

Lawmakers & Activists Call For An End To Deportations, Comprehensive Immigration Reform (VIDEO)

A 12 year-old girl from Kansas City travelled to Chicago on Wednesday to ask Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials why her father was “expeditiously” deported to Mexico in January.

“I just want my dad to come home,” said Nayelly Sandoval, whose father, Josue Sandoval, was deported to Mexico City on January 31 after living in the U.S. for more than 16 years as an undocumented immigrant.

Sandoval was arrested while he was working at a metal scrap yard in Kansas City and was deported about two weeks later, Nayelly said, adding that her father doesn’t have a criminal record.

Backed by immigration reform advocates, Nayelly visited the office of Ricardo Wong, director of ICE’s Chicago Field Office, on Wednesday with hopes that he would meet with her and investigate the circumstances of her father’s deportation. 

She says her father should not have been classified as “high priority” and alleges that ICE officials did not exercise prosecutorial discretion. Wong’s signature, Nayelly claims, appeared on her father’s deportation order.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:14pm
Tue Mar 18, 2014

Durbin, Foster Discuss Immigration Reform, Needs Of Hispanic Business Owners (VIDEO)

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D, IL-11) met with a group of Hispanic business leaders in Joliet on Monday to discuss how the federal government can better support minority business owners and, subsequently, the community at large.

Passing immigration reform, both elected officials agreed, is the single-most important thing Congress can to do benefit the Hispanic community and its business leaders.

By providing a streamlined path to citizenship for America’s more than 11 million undocumented immigrants, the country would see significant economic growth, including increases in tax revenues and jobs, Durbin and Foster both said.

“(Immigration reform) takes the fear out of the lives of those who are here undocumented," Durbin said. "It gives them a chance to get legal status and it fixes this broken immigration system. It died in the House, it’s just been sitting there for almost a year now. That’s just awful.”

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