Monday, March 13, 2017

Chicago Sit-in Opens CD Campaign Against ICE Raids, Mass Deportations

Chicago activists, local religious leaders, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez have been sitting in at the Chicago ICE offices today to protest the mass deportation policy. They reportedly expect to be arrested after 5 pm. We’re posting a statement below from Familia Latina Unida/Sin Fronteras along with links to news articles.—TPOI editor

The campaign of civil disobedience begins today.
Statement of Familia Latina Unida/Sin Fronteras, March 13, 2017

Rev Emma Lozano, Co-chair of Familia Latina Unida and pastor of the first sanctuary church in the nations today joins with Congressman Luis Gutierrez and a group of committed religious leaders, elected officials and community leaders to begin a new phase in the struggle against mass deportations and separation of families. We cannot simply sit by, march and hold press conferences while this administration tears apart our families and our communities.

As in the days of the civil rights movement we find ourselves up against a white nationalist power structure which seeks to drive Latinos from the country or into submission. This is an administration which has no moral compass to guide them. The fate of families, of U.S. citizen children deprived of a mother or father, is not regretted, it is celebrated by this administration.

Years of negotiation with the Republican Congress have brought us often to the brink of a solution – but each time they pulled back. This is not a matter of law it is a matter of humanity – and the lack of it. We believe that we speak for the majority of people in this country who oppose these deportations and separation of families. Only the peculiar states rights structure of elections has put us in the hands of those without compassion or a sense of justice. When the actions of government no longer reflect the will of the people then people of conscience must act.

We have no alternative now but to begin mass campaigns of civil disobedience across this country. Those of good conscience will join the U.S. citizen family members and neighbors of the undocumented. We will explore a full range of tactics to bring the deportations to a halt.

We are not criminals. We are not terrorists. We are workers and we are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. If we have to fill up the jails of this country to remind this nation of its basic humanity – then that is what we will do.

The campaign of civil disobedience begins today.

Rep. Gutierrez Handcuffed After Refusing to Leave Meeting with ICE

By Shelby Bremer, NBC Chicago
Photo: Rep. Gutierrez's office
March 13, 2017
Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez was briefly handcuffed after refusing to leave a meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Chicago, saying he planned to risk arrest by staying at the agency’s office in The Loop until demands are met.

The Democratic congressman led a sit-in following a meeting that began around 10 a.m. Monday with a delegation of activists that included about 22 advocates, attorneys, community leaders and other local elected officials, according to Gutierrez's spokesman Douglas Rivlin.[...]

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Congressman Gutierrez, activists stage sit-in at Chicago ICE office

By Tony Briscoe, Chicago Tribune
March 13, 2017
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez and a delegation of activists and lawyers have staged a sit-in at the regional offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement after their demands were not met during an hourlong meeting Monday with agency officials.

Gutierrez met with ICE's acting regional director Monday morning to discuss immigrants living illegally in the Chicago area and around the nation. The meeting was Gutierrez's first with ICE officials under the Trump administration, and he hoped to get details about the agency's enforcement policy as well as to advocate against deportation orders for several detained immigrants.[...]

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