The voices could be heard from few blocks away from the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement building in downtown Chicago. On July 30, equipped with no more than a microphone and a few signs held solemnly by affected family members, a few individuals stepped up and announced their undocumented status to their audience in the hopes of receiving justice.
Agustin Corona is one example. He stepped up to the microphone a bit flustered and surprised by the turnout of the rally.
“In September, I am supposed to be in Mexico. I would just like to say to Ricardo Wong to help the people going through detention and listen to us. I have no other words to say except thank you to everyone who came to listen to us today,” said Corona.
Recently, President Obama announced a call for administrative action for immigration. In an official press release, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) cited that about 1000 deportations occur per day.
In 2012, Obama began to act against these startling statistics with the 2012 relief program—an initiative that allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to not face deportation, given that they were productive and law abiding citizens. Thus far, this act has delayed the deportation of more than 600,000 undocumented youths, according to the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services data.
However, despite these improvements, families continue to be torn apart because of America’s immigration policies. An ICIRR representative spoke on behalf of Stephanie, the wife of a man who was recently detained in Milwaukee.
“How is it that ICE can raid our homes but then can wait so long to meet face-to-face with the families affected by their actions? Given the president’s recent call for administrative relief, it is unbelievable that Mr. Wong would postpone this meeting scheduled back in February only to postpone it with one day notice. Working families make sacrifices to make these meetings, especially families going through financial difficulties as a result of deportation,” read the reflection.
The speakers’ words were directed towards Ricardo Wong, Chicago’s field director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, who has postponed meeting with families facing deportation until Aug. 25. Perhaps Wong could not hear the voices of dismay from inside his office, but it will not be long until he is forced to listen.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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