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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:44pm
Wed Jul 30, 2014

Immigrant Rights Advocates Rally After Meeting With ICE Officials Gets Postponed (VIDEO)

After representatives from the Chicago office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) postponed a meeting with immigrant rights organizations, community activists once again rallied in front of the downtown office Wednesday to demand a halt to deportations.

The community groups, such as the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), planned to meet with Chicago Field Office Director Ricardo Wong Wednesday morning to discuss local detention and deportation policies. The meeting was rescheduled for August 25.

“We’ve been trying to get a meeting since February,” said Lawrence Benito, executive director of ICIRR, adding that the community groups were not given a valid explanation. “We’re scratching our heads over this.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
1:37pm
Fri Jul 25, 2014

Immigrant Rights Advocates To Obama: 'Stop Deportations Now' (VIDEO)

Roughly 100 immigrant rights advocates hosted a candlelight vigil Thursday evening near President Barack Obama’s Kenwood neighborhood home, urging the president to take strong and swift administrative action on deportations. 

“The president has said that he will take administrative action to address the immigration crisis, but months after he’s ordered a review of deportations, he has yet to act,” said Lawrence Benito, CEO of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Deportations have reached record highs during Obama’s tenure as president, and Thursday’s protesters marched around his Chicago neighborhood while praying for an overhaul of the nation’s broken immigration system — and a halt to deportations.

“We join families who bear the brunt of this crisis to call on the president to act boldly and swiftly to fight for families,” Benito said.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:18pm
Fri Jul 25, 2014

Foster To DoD: Let DREAMers Serve In Military

As President Barack Obama weighs executive actions on immigration issues, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) is calling on the Department of Defense to allow young undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers to serve in the military.

In 2012, Obama set up the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants a two-year protection against deportation for DREAMers, or immigrants who came to the United States as young children prior to June of 2007. The program lets the immigrants work in the country legally, for example, but it does not provide them with a pathway to citizenship or allow them to join the U.S. Armed Forces.

"To qualify for a DACA exemption, applicants must undergo background checks and finish high school," Foster said at a press conference Friday morning in Washington, D.C. "It is simply bad policy to turn away these young men and women while we struggle to find qualified Americans who are able and willing to serve. And it is morally reprehensible to deny these patriotic young men and women the opportunity to serve the country they love."

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